The people surveyed were Americans, age 7 to 54, and were a subset of a total of 1,200 "active gamers" surveyed by Nielsen between February and April.
However, there's one big caveat to the survey, which is that it asked only what consumers currently owned at the time of the survey, not what they had owned in the past. So, people who sold their PlayStation 3 in order to buy a PlayStation 4 would've been marked down as non-PS3 owners.
Assuming that most people didn't do that, though, the numbers underscore why launching at a $100 lower price point than the rival Xbox One was so beneficial for Sony.
More from Re/code:
Dropbox loses high-profile design head Soleio
Apple pokes at Amazon's e-book problem, again
Get a room: Last-minute hotel-booking apps compared
At launch, the biggest titles for the $499 Xbox One and the $399 PlayStation 4, according to the NPD Group's retail charts, were all cross-platform. That is to say, people in November and December were buying games like Activision's Call of Duty: Ghosts, Ubisoft's Assassins Creed IV: Black Flag, EA's Battlefield 4 and Take-Two's NBA 2K14.
All those games were available on both Xbox One and PlayStation 4, and since neither new console was backwards-compatible with its predecessor, that meant if you wanted to play Call of Duty with your friends, they would have to buy the same console as you.
And if you have to buy a new console, why not buy the cheaper one? The Xbox One didn't have a "big" exclusive title to justify the Kinect and its higher price point at launch (that pricing decision has since been reversed). While the PS4 didn't have any top-selling exclusives at launch either, players elected to go with the cheaper option to play the same big games, because duh.
Read MoreGaming Exec: I'm as addicted as you are
—By Eric Johnson, Re/code.net.
CNBC's parent NBC Universal is an investor in Re/code's parent Revere Digital, and the companies have a content-sharing arrangement.