Console users spending more time watching streaming video

Microsoft's been making a big deal about its new Xbox TV initiative. The latest Dashboard update enables console owners to stream video from a variety of sources, including UFC, HBO, and more. Sony offers PS3 owners a number of services as well, including MLB and NHL. Even Nintendo offers Netflix on the Wii, with Hulu Plus support coming soon.

These efforts have not been for naught, as new data released by Nielsen reveals that streaming video usage has increased across all three consoles.

Three thousand gamers were surveyed in October (before the launch of the new Xbox Dashboard), and it showed gains across the board for video usage. Streaming represents 14% of time spent on Xbox 360, 15% on PS3, and 33% on Wii. These figures don't come at the detriment of playing games, either. According to Nielsen, metered console usage has increased 7% year over year, suggesting that "streaming is incrementally adding to the time users are spending with consoles."

While consoles are increasingly becoming media hubs, many of their functions are becoming neglected. DVD/Blu-ray usage has gone down, likely due to the increase of streaming availability. Other services provided by the platforms, such as listening to music, and using the internet browser, have also dropped significantly.

Given the big three's focus on expanding media offerings on their systems, it should be clear that next year's figures will see another boost in streaming consumption on consoles.