Gaming consoles are the No. 1 connected device in US homes
Michelle Clancy
| 24 September 2014
Talk about a shift in content consumption: 46% of US broadband households now have an Internet-connected game console and over a quarter (28%) use it as their primary connected CE device, says Parks Associates.

ParksGamingConsoleContentFrom a video standpoint, the trend is profound: The report found that among these primary console users, roughly three-quarters use the gaming console to access non-gaming content online at least weekly, and nearly 40% access such content for more than 10 hours per week.

"Gaming consoles are the most frequently used connected CE device because of their high adoption rates; of the broadband households that have only one connected CE device, nearly 60% have a game console," said Barbara Kraus, director of research at Parks Associates. "As the non-gaming capabilities of consoles have expanded, so too has the potential for consoles to become an entertainment platform for online content such as video, music and apps."

Two-thirds of US broadband households currently have at least one connected CE device. Smart TVs trail gaming consoles as the second most commonly used connected CE device. Twelve per cent of US broadband households with an Internet-connected CE use a streaming media player most frequently, and only 9% use a connected Blu-ray player the most.

"Smart TVs are popular, but households typically make these purchases when they need to upgrade their flat-panel TVs, which will spread out adoption to coincide with the TV replacement cycle," Kraus said. "Blu-ray players are performing poorly as a connected CE platform, whereas many gaming consoles have already staked a claim in the living room, which helps to drive non-gaming uses for the platform."

Kraus also added that households with multiple connected CE devices are less likely to use the console as their primary connected CE device.

Despite the multi-use aspect of many consoles, "The ability to play console-quality games remains the core adoption driver," Kraus said. "However, our research shows that younger console owners and those with children in the home are heavier users of online, non-gaming content. While 62% of all broadband households have a gaming console, more than 80% of households with children in the home have the device."

Parks Associates research finds both Nintendo Wii and Microsoft Xbox consoles are in 35% of U.S. broadband households, while the Sony PlayStation brand is in 27% of households