As we anticipate the next generation of consoles, it’s time to start thinking about who’s going to be there day 1, excited to try out whatever Sony and Microsoft have to show off.
You might immediately think that these heavily engaged consumers are the classic gamer stereotype – young men who have a surplus of time and money. But you’d be wrong.
Based on Magid’s own cloud gaming survey, that classic “18-to-24-year-old gamer” only makes up 15% of those who play console games at least once a week in the US, compared to 25% for 25-to-34-year-olds and 21% for 35-to-44-year-olds.
While these older and more professionally established gamers often have the disposable income to afford the upfront investment hardware, they also have the greatest demands on their time – 60% of weekly console gamers we surveyed are parents and 71% own a home – flipping the classic time-money ratio that has helped develop the modern F2P model for games like Fortnite or Apex Legends.
Both age groups have the same top 3 most played game genres: multiplayer shooter, action adventure, and battle royale, but their lifestyle has them prioritizing easier ways to play rather than cheaper ways to play. Nowhere is this clearer than when they talk about what cloud gaming might mean for them.
Among those we surveyed who are interested in cloud gaming, interest predominantly lies in the ability to increase the ease of access. The top two most important benefits are being able to play “anywhere” and being able to play with friends, regardless of device.
Especially for these older gamers, it’s not only about how evolving hardware and trends in gaming can provide them with better and more evocative experiences. It’s also about how the next generation of game consoles can help them keep accessing those experiences in the face of their newfound responsibilities.
As a result, when talking to this critical audience, it’s important to focus on what matters to them – the potential for this new hardware to cement their social ties (which gaming already plays a strong role in) or to help meet them where they are with the kinds of expansive and immersive experiences that they already love (something that they appreciate when it happens today).
The console with the strongest value proposition (whether that’s best, first and/or most prominent) hitting on these key elements will win the hearts of these consumers who love to game but need a hand in making it work into their lifestyle.