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Beyond Research Note: Xbox One vs PS4 - The Battle for Share of Voice
 

Beyond Research Note: Xbox One vs PS4 - The Battle for Share of Voice

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Last month, ahead of the launches of the Xbox One and PS4, Microsoft and Sony were embroiled in a battle to win online share of voice. Both companies were pushing out consoles in the run-up to ...

Last month, ahead of the launches of the Xbox One and PS4, Microsoft and Sony were embroiled in a battle to win online share of voice. Both companies were pushing out consoles in the run-up to Christmas and social media was awash with conversations about both products.

We decided to have a listen in and find out whether Microsoft and Sony’s messaging was getting across to their audiences.

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    Beyond Research Note: Xbox One vs PS4 - The Battle for Share of Voice Beyond Research Note: Xbox One vs PS4 - The Battle for Share of Voice Document Transcript

    • Research Note #1 - 6.12.13 Xbox One vs PS4: The Battle for Share of Voice
    • In November, Microsoft and Sony went head-to-head in a battle to win over consumers with the launch of their next-gen games consoles - the Xbox One and the PS4. These devices weren’t just for gamers though. Both companies were pushing out the message that they were releasing entertainment systems - complete with TV, movie and social functionality - making a play to win hearts and minds in family living rooms worldwide. But was the message getting across? And who would win the battle for share of voice? We analyzed online conversation across social media sources including Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, YouTube comments, and gaming forums, for the six months leading up to the launch of both consoles. Here’s what we discovered... @yahl_berg Whose idea was it to market the next Xbox as a tv/sports water cooler? #xboxone #derp 2
    • XBbox One vs. Playstation 4: Who owns the conversation? 47% X Y A 53% B In the run-up to the launch of the Xbox One and the PS4, Sony narrowly owned the conversation. Out of a total of 21,750,898 conversations monitored, 11,429,990 were about the PS4. This could be attributed to Sony’s slightly larger fanbase and brand recognition, with 80 million PS3 owners, compared to 77 million Xbox 360 owners. 38% of the conversations around the Xbox One were negative... Microsoft pushed the heavier entertainment messaging, describing the Xbox One as being an ‘all-in-one’ system. That said, only 14% of the Xbox One conversations were about entertainment. While the Xbox One’s entertainment conversation was driven by consumers’ excitement around the console’s application lineup, including its exclusive deal with NFL, it faced criticism from gaming ‘purists’ who claimed Microsoft’s emphasis on entertainment features was an attempt to hide the console’s inferior gaming capability. for the PS4, 56% of the conversations were positive. As such, 38% of the conversations around the Xbox One were negative. Conversely, there was a veritable social love-in for the PS4, with 56% of the conversations being positive. PS4 fans positively referenced console specs and the availability of console-exclusive games. PS4 fans also lauded Sony for its unrestrictive used-game policy and easy offline-play capabilities. 3
    • Xbox One vs. PS4: Share of Gaming vs. Entertainment Conversation (Share of conversation related to gaming and entertainment) 14% Entertainment 13% Entertainment 86% Other 87% Other 26% Gaming 25% Gaming 74% Other 75% Other What's Driving the Entertainment Conversation? Entertainment Topics: Entertainment Applications: 300k 25k 250k 20k 200k 15k 150k 10k 100k 5k 50k 0 0 Media TV All-In-One Blu-Ray Xbox One Netfix Hulu ESPN Fantasy Football Amazon Instant Video NBA Game Time Playstation 4 4
    • What's Driving the Entertainment Conversation? Gaming topics: Top game mentions: 200k 500k 400k 150k 300k 100k 200k 50k 0 100k 0 Graphics Fees Remote play Second screen Call of Duty Xbox One FIFA 14 Battlefield Earth 4 Grand Theft Auto V Halo Watchdog NBA 2K14 Diablo 3 Playstation 4 Xbox One vs. PS4: Overall Sentiment 38% Y X A Negative Neutral Y A B X Y A B Positive 11% X 56% B Positive 14% X 37% Y A Balanced 21% 12% 11% Negative Balanced B Neutral 5
    • Sentiment of Entertainment and Gaming Conversations 100 10 80 23 15 60 40 20 10 50 10 7 30 16 5 13 0 Xbox One Gaming PS4 Gaming Positive Balanced Xbox One Entertainment Neutral 10 PS4 Entertainment Negative “The PS4 has the edge when it comes to committed gamers, but the gamble Xbox appears to be making is that there will be a larger market for an entertainment machine that will draw new users into the Xbox franchise. This could change the whole dynamic of the traditional console wars.” Nils Mork-Ulnes, Head of Insights and Analytics, EMEA, Beyond Much of the messaging coming out of the suits at both Sony and Microsoft revolves around how the console race is a marathon, not a sprint. As new games launch, bugs get ironed out, and updates get released, the sentiment towards both the Xbox One and the PS4 will no doubt change. But pre-launch, Sony seemed to win the conversation battle. Microsoft’s ‘all-in-one’ messaging didn’t quite stick and many of the gaming fans poured vitriol on the company’s strict DRM and always-online playing policies. Perhaps Sony had the answer: win over the gamers first, then work the entertainment angle. Only time will tell. 6
    • Key Takeaways: The PS4 got the most buzz and was widely praised for its gaming features The Xbox One had more conversations associated with entertainment But many of the negative Xbox One conversations were driven by criticism of its entertainment positioning The Research Note is a regular analytic look at the trends that run through the digital world. It’s produced by digital experience agency Beyond. www.bynd.com 7