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Video streaming use on gaming consoles jumps: Nielsen

Watching video on-demand services nabs the largest share of console time on, of all the gaming machines, Nintendo's Wii.

Pretty soon it will be hard to distinguish a gaming console from a glorified set-top box.

The latest numbers from Nielsen reveals that digital video streaming on game consoles is significantly up this year from 2010.

Here's the breakdown for the top three consoles. Video streaming now represents approximately 14 percent of Xbox 360 time, 15 percent of PlayStation 3 time and 33 percent of Wii time. That's actually a bit curious considering there are many more rental and subscription video offerings on the Xbox and PS3, and I wouldn't have expected such a jump until the next generation of the Wii is actually released.

Nevertheless, online gaming use is also climbing, proving just how valuable that Internet connectivity for electronic devices other than computers truly is. The Xbox 360 led the way in this field as 33 percent of gamers on Microsoft's console participate in online gaming.

Not surprisingly this time, Nintendo's console is the most notable for offline gaming as 55 percent of Wii users steered in this direction.

Sony's PS3 comes in first for consumers most interested in the DVD/Blu-ray aspect of these machines, which also isn't stunning as the Wii can't compete here.

More findings are expected to be revealed when the third annual Nielsen 360° Gaming Report: U.S. Market is published in early 2012.

For reference, this survey is based on results from a general population sample approximately 3,000 gaming console owners aged 13 and over in the United States during October 2011.

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