Video game consoles are about more than games, and the country is starting to take notice.
The number of US households that have broadband Internet access and an Internet-ready gaming machine is on the rise, and it's mostly thanks to the multimedia capabilities of the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. This is from a new report from research firm Park Associates ; the likes of Netflix has helped the number of connected consoles jump from only 25% in 2007 to 65% currently. Although the Nintendo Wii still leads in the hardware sales department, it just doesn't have the same amount of pull in the "connected" world. Said Pietro Macchiarella, Research Analyst:
"PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 have higher connectivity rates among the current generation of consoles, showing the power of multimedia offerings and popular game franchises in getting gamers online. Despite the Wii's wireless capabilities, it has been less successful in getting users online due to less compelling online games and multimedia content. However, with its large installed base, it still is a significant player.
Location and high penetration of game consoles make them ideal devices for distributing digital content. Our Digital Media Evolution II found 65% of U.S. broadband households with a game console have it in their living rooms, where they loathe adding another black box. Therefore, consoles are the perfect Trojan horses in the competition for content distribution."
The firm expects to see over 260 million consoles connected to the Internet worldwide by 2015, and the game industry continues to find a place in most any mainstream home. We all thought it was amazing that the PS2 was a DVD player, remember? And the Dreamcast going online was a phenomenon, too. But oh, how things have changed…