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Purchase intent for Xbox One and PS4 isn't as high as it could be in the US - analyst

IDC research manager Lewis Ward has said according to a survey conducted by the firm, purchase intent for Xbox One and PS4 isn't as high as it could be in the US, but GTA 5 should tide consumers over until more games are released for next-gen.

Speaking with GI International, Ward said the US was in the bottom five with consumers likely to buy a new console within the next 12 months.

"We did a survey of 25 countries in 2013 and one the surprising takeaways was that demand for new consoles isn't shaping up to be particularly strong in the US this holiday season," he said. "In fact, the US landed in the bottom five when viewed from the perspective of the share of console gamers that indicated they're likely to buy a new console in the next 12 months.

"That says to me that a lot of gamers are going to stick by their Xbox 360, Wii, Wii U, and PS3 at least until the 2014 holiday season, when the game catalog will be a lot bigger and some of the online kinks will have been worked out.

"That also means that games like GTA 5 should have plenty of runway to sell well in the meantime, as long as they deliver the goods. I don't think social factors like the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman trial will derail the success of GTA 5 but the game will do doubt catch flak for being too violent and encouraging vigilantes."

Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter and EEDAR's Jesse Divnich didn't seem to agree though, when asked by GI International for thoughts on the matter.

Pachter believes that if anything, GTA 5's lack of availability on next generation consoles could limit its sales in 2014, "but it's pretty early to be making that call."

Divnich feels both Xbox One and PS4 will have strong holiday sales as consumers "are clearly excited for the next generation of consoles to launch."

"I don't foresee one current generation game, no matter how large it is, impacting the start of the next generation of consoles," he said. "The launch of the next generation consoles are likely to have an impact on current generation sales this holiday season. It's a transitional year, it is to be expected, and we anticipate an overall net gain for the industry because of it.

"But September releases are far enough away from the blast radius of the new console launches that September releases shouldn't feel the squeeze."

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