Who won in the category of search volume for video games over the last two generations? Sony. The PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 seemed to be the talk of the town throughout most years before the consoles’ release, during the consoles’ release and after the consoles’ release.
Internet Frontier put together a comprehensive series of infographics showcasing that despite the Wii winning seventh gen gaming, it was Sony who won the search engine game.
Sony basically dominated from start to finish. The only times other consoles dominated the chart was in 2005 when the Xbox 360 was gearing up for release, in which case majority of America were searching up any and everything they could on the console. There was also 2006, which saw an almost even split between Xbox 360 and PS3, but Xbox 360 barely edged out. 2007 was majority PS3 once more. However, Nintendo managed to take most of 2008, though not without a fight from the Xbox 360 and PS3. 2009 was basically all Wii, but then 2010 saw the PS3 surge back big time.
By 2011 the PS4 had entered into the fray, nearly 15% of searches in 2011 within the U.S., was for the PS4, even though the console was effectively two years out from release at that time.
Xbox One and PS4 dominated the search engines in 2012, with the Xbox One taking a slight lead. This is unsurprising given all the hoopla over the leak about the always-on DRM, and the conversation about its role in Microsoft’s console leading up to the big reveal in 2013.
Funnily enough, 2013 was mostly dominated by PS4 and some searches for the Wii/Wii U. However, by 2014 it was basically all PlayStation again, with both the PS3 and PS4 taking back mind-share in the U.S.
Microsoft took third place in 2015 behind Nintendo and Sony’s consoles when it came to search volume, and 2016 saw another surge from Nintendo thanks to news about the Nintendo Switch (codenamed the NX at the time). Even still, the PS3 and PS4 managed to take the remaining states, while Xbox One managed to capture more search volume from just seven states.
According to a brief analysis from the report…
“It’s interesting to see the widespread popularity of the Playstation 4 release compared to other consoles, even previous versions of Playstation. What might surprise you even more is that the release of PS2 was apparently the pinnacle of gaming for Wyoming and Vermont.
“Another revelation in this analysis is that although the Wii console attracted a much broader audience than previous consoles, the hype around the launch was obviously lacking the public’s attention. Only six states searched more for the Wii and Wii U in the year of their release compared to other consoles.”
They round out the piece with another quick infographic about gaming habits and demographics, which you can check out below.
Nevertheless, the previous charts show that despite Microsoft’s best efforts, it seems as if America is still very much a PlayStation Nation. I wonder what the 2017 stats will look like given that Nintendo’s Switch has been a sales beast so far and a lot of people have been itching to get one.