NEW YORK Consumers may not be buying as many new consoles, but they sure are spending a lot of time playing the ones they have. This June marked the hottest on record in terms of minutes spent on game play, per the Nielsen Co.
Videogame console usage was up 21 percent in June compared to the year prior. The average gamer spent 12.8 hours playing games during the month.
Consumers have shifted to the new generation of consoles, spending the majority of their time on the Microsoft 360, Nintendo Wii and Sony PlayStation 3. Half of the minutes spent gaming took place on these consoles.
This provides marketers with an opportunity, said Gerardo Guzman, director of videogame services, Nielsen Games. "The transition has happened. Now that there is critical mass on the new generation of consoles, it gives marketers a chance to reach gamers on the platforms which offer in-game advertising," he said. Currently, just Microsoft Xbox 360 and Sony PlayStation 3 have ad networks serving dynamic advertising on various games.
The demographic of the average gamer is an attractive one for many advertisers. More than 50 percent of gamers are now over the age of 18, though teenagers 12-17 are still the sweet spot making up 25 percent of all minutes played in June.
The spike in minutes comes as console sales have plummeted. In June, hardware and software sales fell 31 percent compared to the same period last year, per the NPD Group. This was the biggest drop since September 2000.
Adweek is a unit of the Nielsen Co.