Tuesday, March 06, 2007

US gaming console ownership rising rapidly

The Nielsen Company released a study revealing the number of homes with TV's and video game consoles has increased by 18.5 percent in the past three years.

The number of video game consoles in U.S. television households has expanded by 18.5% since the fourth quarter of 2004, according to a new report released by Nielsen Wireless and Interactive Services.

In the fourth quarter of 2006 there were 45.7 million homes with video game consoles, representing 41.1% of all TV households, compared to 39.1% (43 million) in 2005, and 35.2% (38.6 million) the previous year. The increase in both the number and the percentage of U.S. TV households with video game consoles is significant given that the number of total television households has risen 1.6% during the same period.

The report, "The State of the Console," incorporates extensive data on video game console usage from Nielsen's National People Meter (NPM) sample of television households as well as its quarterly Home Technology Report.

The study found that the number of connected console households (those subscribing to a service that links their consoles to the Internet) has grown to more than 4.4 million, even before accounting for the connectivity of the Playstation 3 and Wii platforms. During the fourth quarter of 2006, gamers in the top quintile (the top 20% of users based on average use over the quarter) accounted for 74.4% of total console usage.

According to Nielsen, by the close of 2006, approximately 148.4 million persons had access to at least one video game console system in their home. That represented more than half (52.4%) of the total U.S. television population. Two-thirds of all men between 18 to 34 living in homes with TV's also have gaming consoles. Not surprisingly, that number rises to 80 percent when surveying males ages 12 to 17.

According to the Nielsen Company, about 1.6 million people in the U.S. are using a video game console in any given minute of the day.

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