Nielsen: Video Games In Nearly 46 Mln Homes

Nielsen Media Research says that the number of U.S. households with video game systems reached 45.7 million during 2006 (PDF). The number represents an 18 percent increase in the last two years, in comparison, the number of U.S. “television households” grew by only 1.6 percent during the same period.

“The video game console has become a major player in the battle for the living room,” said Jeff Herrmann, VP of Nielsen Wireless and Interactive Services. “In households across the country, consoles are successfully competing for consumers’ time and attention; not simply as gaming platforms, but as multimedia hubs that also can deliver high quality digital movies and IPTV.”

The report incorporates data from Nielsen’s National People Meter sample of television households, as well as data collected for its quarterly Home Technology Report. Later this year, Nielsen plans to launch studies of video game usage and demographic data under a new study called GamePlay Metrics.

Nielsen’s “The State of the Console” report also finds over 148 million people had access to at least one video game console system in their home, including two-thirds of all males between the ages of 18 and 34. At any given minute in a day, Nielsen claims about 1.6 million people in the United States are using a video game console; the report also found that more than 4.4 million people were connecting their consoles to Internet services before the availability of Wii and PlayStation 3 consoles. Game players who fall into the top 20 percent of game console use account for nearly three quarters (74.4 percent) of all console playing.