What is a “Next Gen” Game?

As the newest generation of gaming consoles, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One are often called “Next Gen” consoles. Since they were release in November 2013, nearly 40 million units have been sold between the two consoles. But what games are considered to best represent what a “Next Gen” game has to offer? We asked 478 gamers “What video game best represents what you think of as a “Next Gen” game?” 

A total of 48 unique titles were mentioned as “Next Gen” titles, with Activision’s Destiny being the most mentioned (9.8%).

In fact, Activision was the most mentioned publisher, with four unique titles (led by Destiny and two Call of Duty titles) accounting for 19.0% of all mentions. Electronic Arts had the most unique titles mentioned (10), but these mentions only made up 8.6% of the total.

How did the console manufacturers, Microsoft and Sony, compare when it comes to Next Gen games? They were virtually tied–Sony with seven unique titles accounting for 5.9% of mentions and Microsoft with four unique titles accounting for 5.4% of mentions.

Interestingly, the top titles for both Microsoft and Sony are titles that are not yet released: Halo 5: Guardians and Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. This was a common theme, as four of the top ten mentioned titles and 28% of total mentions were for unreleased titles. It seems that many gamers are still looking or waiting for that “Next Gen” title. This “cult of the new” mentality likely influenced  Destiny‘s standing as well, with its third major DLC (and largest content release to date) scheduled for a release next month.

Some additional tidbits:

  • All of the games mentioned have a robust single-player game mode. In fact, 31% of the mentioned titles only have a single-player mode.
  • When it comes to multiplayer modes, networked multiplayer (56% of titles) was much more common than local multiplayer (15% of titles).
  • The genres with the most unique titles mentioned were Shooters (38% of titles) and Action/Adventure (21% of titles), and these two genres accounted for about half of all mentions.
  • Differences in Next Gen opinions by gender were minimal. However, Action RPGs were mentioned much more frequently by male gamers than female gamers. Most notably, 8.3% f male gamers mentioned The Witcher 3 as a Next Gen game, compared to just 0.7% of female gamers.This trend was seen to a lesser degree with other Action RPG titles such as Bloodborne, Shadow Of Mordor, and Dragon Age: Inquisition.
  • Female gamers were more likely to mention a massively multiplayer game as Next Gen than male gamers, with 5% of female gamers mentioning an MMO (World of Warcraft or Elder Scrolls Online) compared to only 1.4% of male gamers specifying those same titles.