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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Nielsen Ratings For Consoles

Nielsen and NPD just released a comprehensive report of gaming numbers and statistics.  You can read it here.  There are lots of pretty charts and graphs, but also some interesting points.  Here's one:
Consoles tend to be used similarly in three distinct groups. The first group includes the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. These two consoles have the highest active user percent measures of any other console Nielsen measures. They also have the highest average usage days and daily average number of sessions. The PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 have more features and functions than other consoles Nielsen measures. The next set of consoles which have similar primary usage characteristics are the PlayStation 2 and the Xbox. Primary users in the set play at least once a week for more than an hour. The average usage days and daily average number of session are almost identical for users of both the Xbox and PlayStation 2.
The third set of like used consoles are the Wii and GameCube. The Wii and GameCube have similar, and the smallest numbers in terms of daily average number of sessions, average usage days, and active user percent. Predominant users of the Wii and GameCube are likely to use these consoles at most once a week and for fewer minutes and the fewest number of sessions compared to the other two groups of consoles.
However, here's another quote:
Figure 4 shows the usage minutes for all tracked consoles each month from January 2008 to January 2009. Looking at the total usage minutes across all consoles for 2008, PlayStation 2 with the largest installed base still leads all other consoles. However both the PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3 usage minutes are both trending down for the year. Xbox usage minutes are also trending down for 2008. The Xbox 360, Wii and GameCube usage minutes are trending upward. (Italics ours)
Interesting stuff.  It's weird that the Wii is sold the most but used the least.  However, here's another quote from a noted analyst:
Why, according to this, only 6% of Wii owners ACTIVELY use their Wii! That's hilarious! More people actively use their Gamecube than the Wii! See, the Wii is a fad after all. Cut and dried, right?
Take a look at the top number on the graph. Only 11% of 360 owners actively use their 360 and only 10% of PS3 owners actively use their PS3. Now, let's do a little math.  There are 50 million Wii owners. 6% of that number is 3 million.  There are 30 million 360 owners. 11% of that number is 3.3 million.  There are 20 million PS3 owners. 10% of that number is 2 million.  In other words, almost the same amount across the board use their system regularly. The gap in percentages is not that great, but the graph (and the way people are reading it) makes it look like "OMG A HUEGE GAP!"