Sony has come under fire for the delivery delays and high prices of its PlayStation 3, but "intensely" loyal existing PlayStation owners are more likely to upgrade to the console than defect to rival devices from Microsoft or Nintendo.
A survey of 1,725 consumers by ABI Research found that the percentage of PlayStation 2 owners showing interest in a next-generation console is lower than that of other console owners.
However, their "intensity of loyalty" to Sony products was higher when considering a next-generation purchase.
The poll suggested that 60 per cent of those who own a PlayStation 2 and are considering a new console are likely to buy a PlayStation 3.
"We believe that Sony's much larger installed base, combined with higher loyalty among current generation owners, could translate into significant gains for Sony if it can convert these prospective owners," said ABI Research director Michael Wolf.
"Microsoft and Nintendo, while still seeing strong overall loyalty, do not enjoy the same intensity."
Nearly a fifth of survey respondents said they were likely to buy a games console in the coming year, compared with 28 per cent of active gamers.
"Not surprisingly, the interest in the new generation of consoles grows significantly among the already converted," said Wolf.
"While we think that the market of console owners will likely expand beyond its current bases, we believe that the market for the next one to two years will be driven by current console owners upgrading to the new generation."
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