Over One Third of U.S. Adults Own a Game Console

    March 13, 2007

Nielsen//NetRatings says that more than one third of US adults online, 36.5 percent own a game console, and another 15.9 percent own a portable game console. Game consoles have become popular with all ages and are considered to be a major part of America’s home entertainment systems.

When it comes to who owns consoles, 71 percent are married and 66 percent have at least one child in the household. Because of video game ratings from the Entertainment Software Rating Board, home video games can be entertainment for the whole family.

"As game consoles have become increasingly sophisticated, families have incorporated them into their centralized home media centers, which include the television, digital recording device, digital music player, and the PC," said Carolyn Creekmore, senior director of media analytics, Nielsen//NetRatings. "Video game technology will only benefit other media, since what makes a video game fun and exciting brings life to movies and music as well. Companies that can leverage these new technologies across a number of products will have a distinct advantage in the competitive marketplace."

Popular retail Web sites among game console owners include Best Buy’s video game site, which has the highest concentration of console owners accounting for 90 percent of the site’s audience. Amazon’s video game site and Gamestop.com are a close second and third with console owners comprising 89 and 88 percent of their unique visitors, respectively.

Nintendo is among the most popular game console providers and has seen the fastest Web traffic growth over the past year in large part due to the release of Wii. Unique visitors to Nintendo.com rose 91 percent from 856,000 in February 2006 to 1.6 million in February 2007. Xbox.com also saw increased growth year-over-year in February, increasing 47 percent from a unique audience of 827,000 to 1.2 million. Traffic to Playstation.com dropped 8 percent in the same period, from 1.1 million to 1.0 million unique visitors.