A new survey we ran across Thursday from analysts at Piper Jaffray & Co. looks at the spending habit of teenagers in the United States showed some surprising indicators for the next-gen Playstation 4 and Xbox (aka Xbox 720) consoles that may help get the games industry out of its current sales funk.
The survey of 3,400 teen gamers found that 73 percent of them are aware aware that the PS4 and next Xbox are launching later this year. Of that number, 52 percent say that they expect they will purchase of the two within four years of launch. What's more the number of teens that plan to spend more time playing games increased from 28 percent last year to 32 percent this year.
These responses are seen as a net positive for the console game industry as Piper Jaffary originally forecasted that the next-gen cycle would only be 60 percent as large as the current-gen. This more recent survey now suggests that the next-gen cycle will be approximately 75 percent as large instead.
Some of the details that the Piper Jaffray survey leaves out that would have been interesting to know include which specific console do they intend to purchase and what price point they would make their purchase at.
However, there is one survey result that will influence teens' purchase decision. 63 percent of teen gamers said they purchase used games and 53 percent of those purchases occur at GameStop. According to Piper Jaffray, this is the highest percentage of used game purchases it has seen in multiple years.
Sony has confirmed that the Playstation 4 will not block used games while rumors still swirl around Microsoft's next-gen console on whether it will or won't. The next Xbox is expected to be revealed during an event in May where the console maker will hopefully put that rumor and others to rest.
The good news for publishers and retailers with this survey according to Piper Jaffray is that the current downturn in the console game space is due to the length of the current console cycle. The Xbox 360 is approaching the eight year mark while the PS3 is coming up on seven. "We believe there is potential for for a period of renewed growth to follow the current console transition air pocket in demand," the bank's analysts concluded.