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Game consoles increasingly serving non-gaming purposes

While the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Wii are still game machines first and foremost, they’re increasingly being used for other forms of entertainment. Netflix-ps3-small

A new survey by Nielsen finds that non-gaming functionality is on the rise among console owners – and among PS3 owners, it even surpasses the time spent playing games.

Overall, users 13 and up spend just 49 percent of their time playing games on Sony’s console. Xbox 360 owners spend 62 percent of their time gaming. Wii owners, which ironically are often the butt of jokes among the core, spend the greatest percentage of their time playing – coming in at 69 percent.

Watching DVDs or Blu-rays is the second most popular function for consoles after gameplay. Xbox 360 owners spend 11 percent of their time watching DVDs, while PS3 owners use those machines for Blu-ray films 27 percent of the time – more time than they spend playing online games. (The Wii does not offer movie playback functionality.)

Streaming media – using services such as Netflix and ESPN3 – is the next most popular category. The Wii leads the charge there, with 20 percent of users’ time dedicated to streaming video. The Xbox 360 comes in at half that and PS3 owners use the console for that 9 percent of the time.

From there, the percentage breakdown gets miniscule, but items include watching downloaded movies or TV shows, listening to CDs or MP3s and using the console’s internet capabilities for surfing or social networking.

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