Nielsen Reveals 2008's Most Played Consoles; Original Xbox Beats Out PlayStation 3

by Chris Faylor, Jan 02, 2009 8:44am PST

Research and data collection firm The Nielsen Company has issued its list of the past year's most-played video game consoles, using data from the first 10 months of 2008.

According to Nielsen, the PlayStation 2 topped console usage, followed by the Xbox 360 and Wii. Meanwhile, the original Xbox was played more in 2008 than the PlayStation 3, which ranked as the fifth most-played console of the year.

    Video Game Console Usage

    1. PlayStation 2 - 31.7% Usage Minutes

    2. Xbox 360 - 17.2% Usage Minutes

    3. Wii - 13.4% Usage Minutes

    4. Xbox - 9.7% Usage Minutes

    5. PlayStation 3 - 7.3% Usage Minutes

    6. GameCube - 4.6% Usage Minutes

    7. Other - 16.2% Usage Minutes

    Data from Jan - Oct 2008. Usage Minutes % is the percent of all measured console minutes. 'Other' consists of any other console systems found in the home.

As of May 2008, the PS2 had sold 42 million units in the U.S., though Sony did not provide a worldwide figure. In October, the PlayStation 3 was nearing 17 million units sold worldwide, while the Wii was approaching 35 million units.

In November, Microsoft claimed that the Xbox 360 had outsold the original Xbox, implying that its second-generation console had surpassed lifetime sales of 25 million.

Upon the debut of its GamePlay Metrics tracking in 2007, Nielsen explained its methodology as it appears below. It is not known how or if that changed in 2008.

Nielsen GamePlay Metrics Methodologies as of 2007

Nielsen GamePlay Metrics uses console data collected from the Nielsen's

People Meter TV sample combined with Nielsen GamePlay Metrics' proprietary

audio signature library that matches the unique audio signature of every

game tracked on the six most widely available video game consoles,

including PlayStation 2, PLAYSTATION 3, Xbox, Xbox 360, Wii and GameCube.

The GamePlay

Metrics user sample includes more than 12,000 households with

approximately 33,000 individuals.

Nielsen GamePlay Metrics uses PC data collected from the Nielsen's

Video Game Tracking Survey. Video Game Tracking is a weekly online survey

of 1200 gamers 7 - 54 years of age. Qualifications include ownership of a

console or PC, play video games at least 1 hour per week and have purchased

at least one or more video games in the last 6 months. The Video Game

Tracking online survey has been in the field for more than two years (104+


Additional data, including rankings of console video game titles and

the electronic metering of PC game titles are in testing and will be

available to select Nielsen GamePlay Metrics clients in the near future [as of 2007].


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