Study: Video Games Trump Movies and TV Shows on Consoles, Computers and Mobile Devices
As popular as it is becoming to stream movies and TV shows on computers, phones and game consoles, a series of focus groups conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers suggests that Americans still prefer playing video games over those other activities.
In a study called "The Evolution of Video Gaming and Content Consumption," survey respondents indicated they play video games on a console for 3.7 hours a week, play on a computer 3.2 hours, on a smartphone 2.7 hours and on a tablet 1 hour.
The same respondents stream movies and TV shows on a computer only 2.3 hours a week, on a game console 2.2 hours and on a smartphone and tablet 0.6 hours apiece.
Among those who play video games primarily via console -- like PlayStation, Xbox and Wii -- 70 percent say they use their console for nongaming activities at least one hour a week and as much as seven hours per week. Many are even using their console "as a replacement for a cable subscription," according to the study.
Said one member of the focus group: "You're already logged on, playing a game, and you can just go into the -- whatever they call it, Netflix and all the media sources. So, yeah, it's more of a convenience type thing."
"I got rid of cable a few years ago," another member added. "I had Netflix with just the disc, and then I switched over to only streaming. Between that and Hulu, it's like there's more than enough TV that I want to watch on it and it's $15 a month for both of those, compared to $70 or something for cable."
"Connecting with consumers for video content requires promoting the benefits of each individual device," write the authors of the study. "For example, many consumers use game consoles to stream video content through subscription and other pay services. Companies continue to have the opportunity to persuade consumers to invest in consoles by marketing the diversity of uses for the particular device."
Survey respondents are spending an average of $15 per month on gaming, with 14 percent spending more than $40 and 44 percent spending less than $5.
As for mobile games, the study says 56 percent of players spend from five to 15 minutes per session. Of the 50 respondents who were teenagers, 100 percent of them played games on their smartphones.
Zynga's Words With Friends was cited as a way to maintain relationships, while one focus group member said of Rovio Entertainment's Angry Birds: "I find myself starting the game at one time, and I look up and four hours have passed and I'm still playing because I'm trying to accomplish the three stars that you need to get to the next level."