Latest research shows that although most consoles are capable of playing DVDs or downloading movies from the Internet, gamers just don't seem to be interested.
A new report released this week from Dallas-based think tank The Diffusion Group "On The Use of Game Consoles for Movie Viewing" shows that 80 percent of consoles in households can play DVDs or have the ability to download and watch films from the Net. However, only 30 percent of those surveyed were aware that their console could play movies, and less than half of those--some 13 percent--had actually done so. Of this 13 percent, three quarters used the console only for playing back a DVD disc, with the remaining quarter also purchasing or renting movies online.
For those who own consoles connected to the Internet, watching films or TV shows online proved to be a little more popular, with 42 percent having used their console at some point to do this.
The report's author, Dale Gilliam III, commented, "Today's next-generation games consoles, such as the Xbox 360 or Sony PlayStation 3, are true digital multimedia powerhouses. Yet very few of these devices are connected to the Internet, and even though these same platforms may feature a high-definition DVD playback system, very few consumers are using them for nongaming media applications."
This would seem to conflict with Microsoft's own statistics, which recently reported that 6 million people had signed up for Xbox Live accounts.
The report criticised the lack of consumer awareness that consoles were also multimedia players. According to the group, the report "demonstrates how poorly many consumers understand the capabilities of today's game consoles and a major barrier to persuading consumers to start using these platforms for nongaming media consumption."