A report released by research firm NPD Group indicates that the majority of people who own a Xbox 360 or PS3 are unaware of the machine's HD capabilities.
The survey found that 40% of PS3 owners didn't know the device had a a Blu-ray player. About 70% of Xbox 360 console owners are unaware of the console's HD graphics capabilities whereas about 50% of the PS3 owners is aware of this:
According to the results, only 40% of PlayStation 3 owners polled were aware the machine had a Blu-ray player and about 50% of that number had popped in a Blu-ray movie during the last 10 times they turned on the machine -- the other half didn't use the feature. The study didn't poll about Xbox 360's HD-DVD add-on, as it's not a standard feature with the Xbox 360 SKU. For reference, about half polled knew about the DVD-playback potential of Xbox 360.
The lack of awareness (or interest) isn't limited to movie watching, either -- and here's where you should start paying attention for an idea on how the mass market will respond in the next few years. Only 30% of Xbox 360 owners were aware of the HD graphics capabilities of the machine, whereas that number rises to 50% with PS3. Considering the inclusion of a cheap Blu-ray player in the PS3, that's not so surprising, but, either way, a startling number of "HD gamers" don't know about -- or don't care about -- HD.
"The industry is still in its infancy with regard to this "next-gen" and all the expanded capabilities of the systems," said NPD analyst Anita Frazier to 1UP. "Gameplay is still king, and it may take awhile for the awareness and usage of the additional features to really take hold with consumers."