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Study looks at console user habits

360 leads for online play, Wii for streaming.

New research has shown that Xbox 360 owners spend a significantly higher proportion of their console time playing games online than PlayStation 3 or Wii owners do.

The Nielsen poll, reported by Gamasutra, revealed that an average of 28 per cent of Xbox 360 usage was devoted to online gaming, compared to 19 per cent on PlayStation 3 and 12 per cent on the Wii.

The Wii, on the other hand, boasted the highest proportional usage for streaming services such as Netflix or iPlayer at 20 per cent of all console time, compared to 10 per cent among Xbox 360 users and nine per cent among PlayStation 3 users.

"Compared to the other two consoles, the bulk of time on the Wii is in the form of offline gaming," explained Nielsen's research.

"The system trails in use for online play. This may reflect the lesser emphasis on online applications and gameplay for the Wii in general.

"In terms of streaming, Netflix was introduced this year for the Wii, but its lead in share is likely a function of the fewer hours per user that is being divided up... overall, the Wii is most defined by its use for traditional offline gaming."

The PlayStation 3 came out on top when it came to watching DVDs or Blu-Ray, with the average user spending 27 per cent of their time on movies and TV shows. This compares to just 11 per cent on Xbox 360.

"In sum, the PlayStation 3 stands out for its use as a DVD/Blu-Ray player as well as a gaming console," Nielsen judged.

Have a look at the bar chart below for a full break down of how those surveyed used their gaming hardware.

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Fred Dutton


Fred Dutton was Eurogamer's US news editor, based in Washington DC.