Nielsen Ratings Explore Wii, PS3, Xbox 360
Most people associate Nielsen ratings with television, with the surveys acting as life and death for many shows on the brink (despite the fact that such scales represent only 25,000
Personally, I started gaming on systems like the Atari and NES. However, as the mid-90s approached, I found PC gaming a far superior source for quality titles (and graphics), largely turning my nose up at the blocky messes that I felt damned the PlayStation and Nintendo 64. However, by the time the Xbox was released – along with a little game named "Halo" – all of that changed.
I don't appear to be alone in my transition to full-on console gaming. Perhaps the most surprising statistic presented by Nielsen is this: 36.5% of all American adults who have an internet connection also own a video game console. In addition, nearly 16% own portable systems, such as the DS or PSP. My once beloved PC experience was left off Nielsen's report, meaning it's unknown whether console gaming has led to lowered interest in computer play.
In addition to the link between internet connection and consoles, Nielsen also reported on the aging of gamers. 71% of all online, console owners over 18 were married, with 66% having at least one offspring.
It's all good for (most of) the big console companies. Besides the fact that gaming is clearly on the rise, so too is traffic for the next-gen leaders. Nintendo.com's web site jumped from under 900,000 visitors in January, 2006 to 1.6 million a year later, with Microsoft's Xbox.com making similar gains (827,000 to 1.2 million).
Just how bad are things for Sony at the moment? Besides reports that the PS3 lays unloved on store shelves, the company's PlayStation.com site actually saw traffic decline, from 1.1 million a year ago to just 1 million this past January.