Games consoles becoming ‘entertainment hubs’

04/01/2012

US consumers are using their Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Wii devices to stream movies and TV shows in growing numbers, according to a new survey. The poll of 3000 people in the US, conducted by Nielsen, found that streaming video accounted for 14% of the average time spent using Microsoft 's Xbox 360 in October, up from 10% a year earlier. For Sony's PS3, the share of streaming video was 15% this year, up from 9% last year. The shift was even more dramatic for Nintendo's Wii, which jumped to 33% from 20%.

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All three consoles readily connect to the Internet, so viewers can use them to access video-on-demand services like Netflix, Hulu Plus, YouTube, Major League Baseball Network and ESPN to watch on their TV screens rather than on small computer monitors.

Xbox and PlayStation users also spent an additional 5% of their time watching movies and television shows they paid to download, an option not available on the Wii.

The new data emphasises that consoles aren't stealing viewers' attention just with video games but also with content that serves as a direct substitute for traditional TV watching.

Game consoles have proved particularly effective for Netflix. An earlier Nielsen survey found that half of the users who utilize its streaming offerings do so on the PlayStation, Xbox or Wii.

Two of the consoles are also popular as DVD players. People spend 15% of their time on PS3s watching DVDs or Blu-ray discs.

Sony's device is the only console that plays Blu-ray discs and is the best-selling Blu-ray player on the market.

Xbox 360 users spend 9% of their time watching DVDs. The Wii does not play movies on discs.

Source: www.nielsen.com

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