Can Google Predict The Winner Of The Console War Before It Even Happens?


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At some point next year, Microsoft is going to release its new game console. Soon after, Sony will release the next PlayStation. These two systems will be competing once again to control your living room. Who's going to win? A simple Google search may tell you.

Ludos Mundi recently looked into Google Trends for both PS4 and Xbox 720. According to their numbers, the Xbox 720 is far more popular in Google search. That means more people are actively looking for information on the next Xbox which could imply the machine has a popularity advantage before it even launches.

Xbox 720 PS4 Google Search

Looking at the numbers on Google Trends, the difference is not as drastic. In November, there were 75 searches for PS4 for every 100 searches of Xbox 720. PS4 had higher search traffic in 2011, but Xbox 720 came back with a vengeance in 2012.

Changing "PS4" to "PlayStation 4" yields a higher average to Sony since people were already searching for "PlayStation 4" as far back as 2004. Much like the previous search, Sony's machine did better in 2011 than in 2012.

Now, what happens when you search for the new console's codenames - Orbis and Durango? It appears that many consumers either don't know about the names or they prefer to use more familiar terms like Xbox 720 and PS4. Either way, the searches for Orbis have far outpaced that of Durango. The most popular term that garnered the most amount of search traffic was PlayStation 4 Orbis while Xbox Durango only garnered five searches for every 100 searches for PlayStation 4 Orbis.

So what does this all mean? It means that people are excited about the next generation of gaming consoles. The increased amount of search traffic for Xbox 720 this year can be attributed to more stories coming out about Microsoft's new game console. Sony's Orbis is still relatively veiled in secrecy comparably and therefore doesn't get as much search traffic. You can expect searches for PS4 and PlayStation 4 to skyrocket again once more leaks and rumors start to disseminate across the Web next year.

Just for fun, here's the comparison between the PS4, Xbox 720 and Wii U. Note that the Wii U saw a massive surge in search when it was unveiled in mid-2011 and then it dropped back down to comparable levels with the competing next-gen consoles for most of 2012. Search didn't jump again until it neared the launch of the console. It's expected that both the PS4 and Xbox 720 will see similar spikes in search when it nears each console's respective launch.

[h/t: Venture Beat]