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Popular games with online components such as Call of Duty and Madden NFL, as well as multimedia content such as Netflix streaming services, are driving more households online, creating huge growth in online video, according to new research.


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Parks Associates has found that 64 percent of US broadband households with Internet-connectable game consoles have it hooked to the Internet, up from 25 percent in 2007.

What’s more, the survey shows that users of PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 have higher online connectivity rates than users of the Nintendo Wii.

Pietro Macchiarella, Research Analyst, Parks Associates, said: “Despite the Wii’s built-in wireless capabilities, it has been less successful in getting users online due to less compelling online games and multimedia content.”

Parks Associates forecasts that globally, households will connect more than 260 million game consoles to the Internet by 2015.

Broadband connectivity enables new business models for game consoles and positions them as hubs for all household entertainment services, according to Macchiarella.

Both Microsoft and Sony are now leading providers of premium Internet video content and derive a large share of their gaming revenues from their digital video outlets.

 

Macchiarella continued: “Location and high penetration of game consoles make them ideal devices for distributing digital content. Our [survey] found that 65% of U.S. broadband households with a game console have it in their living rooms, where they loathe adding another black box. Therefore, consoles are the perfect Trojan horses in the competition for content distribution.

“There has been recent speculations Microsoft wants to create a new TV service on Xbox 360 by aggregating content from multiple sources. While these are still rumours, the reality is that the aggregation of premium content on consoles has already been happening for some time and is posing a larger threat to TV service providers.”

 

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