Media is the New Gaming - The UpStream

Media is the New Gaming

posted Saturday Dec 18, 2010 by Scott Ertz

Media is the New Gaming

Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony have planted multimedia Trojan horses in our living rooms in the form of videogame consoles. Until recently, these devices have been mainly used for gaming, but the winds are changing in video's favor.

Nielsen released some statistics recently that show video usage on the consoles is definitely on the rise. 20% of all time spent on a Wii is spent with streaming video, mostly Netflix. Xbox users spend 10% and PS3 users spend 9% of their overall time streaming video. Some of these numbers are surprising and some not so much.

To see which is which, hit the break.

We'll start with very surprising Sony number. Only recently did Sony officially accept Netflix into its family, meaning that in 2 short months, usage of the service has increased to now accommodate for 9% of the PS3's life. Pretty impressive for a service that so recently required a disc to be used to stream videos.

On the extreme other hand, it is not at all surprising that the Wii is being used for things other than gaming. So many gamers have the console specifically for 3 or 4 titles and have played them to death and now want to use the device for something more useful. While Wii also only recently accepted Netflix into their official lineup, the device is marketed as a family-oriented device, so family movie night is right up there with family game night in importance for the console.

Now let's look at the Xbox 360. I am actually incredibly surprised by such a small percentage being dedicated to media. Unlike the Wii and PS3, the 360 has a wider catalog of streaming video choices: with the newly added ESPN and our good friends Zune and Netflix, plus shows like The Guild, there are a lot more choices for streaming.

So, is this number an indication that Microsoft is already trying to do too much on the console or does it show that their possible video offering expansion is headed in the right direction? Let us know in the comments section below.

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