New data from Parks Associates (www.parksassociates.com) shows 46% of U.S. broadband households have a game console connected to the Internet and over one-quarter (28%) use the connected gaming console as their primary connected CE device. Among these primary console users, roughly three-quarters use the gaming console to access non-gaming content online at least weekly, and nearly 40% access such content for more than 10 hours per week.
“Gaming consoles are the most frequently used connected CE device because of their high adoption rates-of the broadband households that have only one connected CE device, nearly 60% have a game console,” says Barbara Kraus, director of research at the research group.”As the non-gaming capabilities of consoles have expanded, so too has the potential for consoles to become an entertainment platform for online content such as video, music, and apps.”
Two-thirds of U.S. broadband households currently have at least one connected CE device. Smart TVs trail gaming consoles as the second most commonly used connected CE device. Twelve percent of U.S. broadband households with an Internet-connected CE use a streaming media player most frequently, and only 9% use a connected Blu-ray player most frequently, according Parks Associates’ 1Q 2014 survey of 10,000 U.S. broadband households.
“Smart TVs are popular, but households typically make these purchases when they need to upgrade their flat-panel TVs, which will spread out adoption to coincide with the TV replacement cycle,” Kraus says. “Blu-ray players are performing poorly as a connected CE platform, whereas many gaming consoles have already staked a claim in the living room, which helps to drive non-gaming uses for the platform.”
She adds that households with multiple connected CE devices are less likely to use the console as their primary connected CE device.
“The ability to play console-quality games remains the core adoption driver,” Kraus says. “However, our research shows that younger console owners and those with children in the home are heavier users of online, non-gaming content. While 62% of all broadband households have a gaming console, more than 80% of households with children in the home have the device.”
Parks Associates research finds both Nintendo Wii and Microsoft Xbox consoles are in 35% of U.S. broadband households, while the Sony PlayStation brand is in 27% of households.