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Nielson Next-Gen Console Usage

Here is a chart directly from Nielson’s site.


It seems that:

  • IGN botched the chart and reversed numbers for 360/PS3. My fault for not fact checking them. There are lies, damn lies, and IGN.
  • 360 has a wide lead in “usage min %” in both age categories, and leads in the “Daily Avg Num Sessions” and “Average Usage Days” categories for the under 27 age category, while the PS3 has a slight lead in those two metrics for the 27 and up age category.

I believe the “usage min %” represents total install base play time, while the “Daily Avg Num Sessions” and “Average Usage Days” are averages for owners of the consoles. So, according to that, the 360 sells much better across all ages in the U.S., but PS3 adult owners get a little more use out of their systems than 360 adult owners. That’s a much less interesting story than the ones told by the botched numbers.

It’s possible that IGN’s chart is right and the one on Nielson’s site is wrong, but the numbers on Nielson’s site make more sense. The 360 does have a large install base advantage over PS3 in the U.S. (this study is U.S. only), so we should expect 360 to have larger usage numbers.

Moral of the story: People are biased to believe stats that tell them what they want to hear. It’s easy to create a hypothesis around bogus stats. Remember to fact check IGN. 🙂