Marketing research firm Nielsen, best known for measuring television audiences in the U.S., has turned its attention to the videogaming demographic.
The company studied gamers' habits from April 2007 to February 2008, focusing on how often and how long gamers spent on their consoles on a daily and monthly basis, as well as which systems are getting the most use. The study, reported by Kotaku, separated gamers into two groups, those aged 10-26 years, and those 27 years of age and older. Results of the survey indicated that the Xbox 360 is the overwhelming favorite of gamers 26 and under, representing almost 63 percent of total time spent on consoles, compared to 25 percent for the Wii and just over 12 percent for the PlayStation 3. Gamers in that group played an average of just over two sessions per day, in lengths ranging from 53 minutes per session on the Wii to 74 minutes per session on the Xbox 360.
The numbers changed significantly among older gamers, however, with nearly 52 percent of gamers' time spent on the PlayStation 3, followed by 28.5 percent on the Wii and just under 20 percent on the Xbox 360. The number of gaming sessions per day was similar to the younger group, although the Wii slipped to just under two sessions per day, but the overall length of individual gaming sessions shrunk to 47 minutes on the Wii, 52 minutes on the Xbox 360 and 55 minutes on the PlayStation 3.
The survey also indicated a significant discrepancy in the amount of use each console gets on a monthly basis. Gamers under the age of 27 use the Xbox 360 console virtually every day, while the PlayStation 3 is only fired up an average of 21 days per month and the Wii is on for less than 20. Older gamers use their consoles less often, but the numbers track similarly otherwise: The Xbox 360 sees the most usage at 21.7 days per month, followed by the PlayStation 3 at just under 20 days and then the Wii, once again trailing the crowd at less than 12 days of use per month.
UPDATE: As has been pointed out in our forums and elsewhere, the information provided by Nielsen in the source material for this news post was incorrect. The PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 numbers for the 27 and older demographic were reversed; the Xbox 360 sees 52 percent of gaming time in that demographic, while the PlayStation 3 is relegated to third at just below 20 percent. A Nielsen representative contacted by IGN was uncertain as to how the incorrect data came to be released.