Today, media-tracking firm The Nielsen Company released the latest update to its quarterly "State of the Video Gamer" report, with a primary focus on usage patterns for console and PC gamers. As one primary takeaway from the report, Nielsen found that PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 gamers are spending more primetime television hours gaming than watching TV.
Nielsen's report also found that Sony's stalwart PlayStation 2--which celebrated its 50 millionth unit milestone in North America during January--will soon be replaced as the most-used console. According to Nielsen, the PS2 will lose its top seat by the end of 2009, with either the Xbox 360 or Nintendo Wii most likely to succeed it.
[UPDATE] Following the publication of Nielsen's report, the media-tracking firm discovered a minor error that it corrected today. Originally, a chart within the report indicated that the Xbox 360 outperformed the Nintendo Wii in terms of usage minutes during January, and dramatically understated the PS3's usage time. Nielsen's corrected data reveals that PS2 usage amounted to 23.7 percent of US gaming time, followed by the Wii's 20.7 percent, the Xbox 360 with 18.2 percent, the PS3 with 9 percent, the Xbox with 7.9 percent, and the GameCube with 3.3 percent.
Female gamers also received special attention in Nielsen's report. The media-research firm noted that girl gamers aged 25 and older comprise the largest PC game-playing block. Nielsen's survey found that the demographic amounted to 46.2 percent of all PC gamers, with females aged 25-plus accruing 54.6 percent of all metered gameplay minutes during December 2008.
Lastly, Nielsen offered data on the top PC games played during the last month of 2008. In both the male and female 25-54 demographic, Nielsen found that the most-played PC game was Microsoft's Solitaire card game, followed by FreeCell. According to Nielsen, more than 17 million gamers in the US played Microsoft's Solitaire in December.
Nielsen's full State of the Video Gamer report is available through the firm's Web site.