Few gamers know about Natal

After the phenomenal success of Nintendo's wand-waving Wii console, Sony and Microsoft are hoping to cash in with their own motion-control systems this year. However, a recent survey among gamers revealed that less than a quarter of them have even heard of the new controllers.

US consumer research firm Nielson says that it recently surveyed over 2,400 "active gamers," asking them about the new controllers. Of those gamers, only 21 per cent of them had heard of Microsoft's forthcoming Natal controller, while 23 per cent of them had heard of Sony's Move.

Of course, we don't know exactly what gaming habits these "active gamers" had, and there's no particular reason why a casual gamer with a Wii would have heard of Natal. It's also fair to say that those who keep even a vague eye on Web news will be pretty well informed about the new devices.

Even so, Nielson also provided figures for awareness among specific console owners. Just 39 per cent of Xbox 360 gamers had heard of Natal, while 42 per cent of PS3 owners knew about Move.

Not only that, but out of those who were aware of the devices, only 28 percent said they intended to buy a Move, while 35 per cent of the Natal-aware gamers said they planned to buy the new controller.

However, the survey acknowledges that it's still early days for the new devices, which haven't even been released yet. As well as this, it notes that "many key details, such as specific games supported and price, have yet to be released, and advertising campaigns have not yet shifted into gear."

With this in mind, the figures look promising. After all, if over a quarter of those who know about the device say they're going to buy it, then they're still going to sell a lot of controllers. Even so, it looks as though Microsoft and Sony are going to have trouble recreating the success of the Wii with their own motion controllers.