How dominant was the PS2? Well, according to the latest Nielsen survey, it wasn't only dominant the last generation, but it continues to be dominant into this new generation. The survey ("Gameplay Metrics") showed that 68 million people played video games on a home console in June alone; the sample included over 12,000 households and 33,000 total individuals. But more importantly, it also showed that 42% of the game usage was done on the PS2.
Launched back in October of 2000, Sony's PlayStation 2 sprinted out to an early lead – due in large part to the full-year jump on the competition – and never looked back. They ended up selling about 111 million PS2s in less than seven years, and as it turns out, everyone still loves the system. That 42% represented a huge discrepancy, as the original Xbox fell into a distant second at 17% and this generation's Xbox 360 came in third at 8%. Obviously, last generation's dominance probably won't be repeated by the PS3, but the PS2's amazing longevity is clearly evident, here.
Perhaps even more clear is the reluctance of casual gamers to embrace a new – and pricier – generation. The PS3's price drop to $499 is only temporary, the 360 still costs $399, and only the Wii is similar to a last-gen system price tag at $249. Furthermore, while the 360 has been available for nearly 20 months, the PS3 has only been around for 8, and that discrepancy is evident in the numbers below. As time goes on, though, prices will drop and there will be more software to convince the holdouts to move into the next generation. The only question is, in which direction will they move…?
Final Survey Numbers