Xbox, PS3, Wii see a big jump in use to stream video

New research from Nielsen shows that gaming consoles increasingly are being to stream movies and TV shows.

nielsen chart

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All three of the most popular consoles, Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT)'s Xbox 360, Sony (NYSE: SNE)'s PlayStation3, and Nintendo's Wii saw significant increases in the amount of time consumers reported using the devices watching streaming video.

Xbox users streaming time increase to 14 percent, up 40 percent from 10 percent a year ago; PS3 users used streaming services 15 percent of the time, a 67 percent increase from 9 percent a year ago and Wii users said they spend a whopping 33 percent of their time on the console watching streaming video, up 60 percent from 20 percent last year.

The growth, said Nielsen, is fueled by the availability of services like Netflix, Hulu, MLB Network and ESPN3.

The company said time spent on game consoles in general is also on the rise. Metered console usage data from the first half of 2011 shows that the three platforms combined are up 7 percent in user time versus the year prior. Taken together, these findings suggest that streaming is incrementally adding to the time users are spending with consoles.

Some 5 percent of Xbox and PS3 users, meanwhile, also said they used their consoles to watch downloaded movies and TV episodes (Wii users don't have that option).

Hollywood, obviously, has to see the increased usage and consumptions as good news for their digital revenue line.

Not so good, however, is the decline in console usage for viewing DVDs and Blu-ray discs.

Xbox users said they watched the discs 9 percent of the time, down 18 percent from a year ago. PS3 users, meanwhile, said they watched discs 22 percent of the time on their consoles, down 19 percent from last year. Sony's device is the best-selling Blu-ray player on the market, and the only gaming console that plays those discs.

For more:
- see this LA Times article

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