Sony's PlayStation 2 accounted for 42 percent of video game console usage during June, and PC gamers played World of Warcraft more than four times as much as any other PC game, Nielsen reported today as it launched Nielsen GamePlay Metrics, the first service of its kind to electronically track video game console usage and games played on PCs.
68.1 million individuals used a video game console in June, playing an average of 7.5 days during the month. On the days they played, Xbox 360 users logged an average of 2.2 sessions, with an average session length of 61 minutes. In contrast, PlayStation 3 users' logged an average of 1.9 sessions, with an average session length of 83 minutes, on the days they played.
Nielsen GamePlay Metrics
Console Usage Report Trend
June 2007 / May 2007
# of # of
% of Sessions Avg % of Sessions Avg
Total During Minutes Total During Minutes
Mins Days Per Mins Days Per
Console Used played Session Used Played Session
PlayStation 2 42.3 1.95 62 45.7 1.88 58
Xbox 17.0 2.17 62 15.1 2.03 53
Xbox 360 8.0 2.21 61 12.1 1.93 68
GameCube 5.8 1.76 55 6.9 1.71 57
Wii 4.0 1.78 57 3.0 1.70 52
PlayStation 3 1.5 1.88 83 1.3 1.66 58
Other* 21.3 1.84 62 15.9 1.76 56
All 100.0 1.99 62 100.0 1.89 58
* Other consists of any other console systems found in the home, such as
vSmile, Sega, FC Twin video system, Game Wave Family Entertainment System,
"With Nielsen GamePlay Metrics, we have significantly advanced the understanding of how video game consoles are used and which games are actually being played," said Jeff Herrmann, Vice President of Nielsen Games and Nielsen Wireless. "This is the first glimpse of metered in-home video game player data, providing game publishers, console manufacturers, advertisers and competing entertainment media with the most accurate, objective, and quantifiable metric available. We believe this will change the discussions surrounding which games get developed for what consoles and how publishers represent their actual audience to advertisers."
Nielsen GamePlay Metrics provides electronic ratings and proprietary survey data to show who is playing games, on which systems, at what times and, when integrated with other Nielsen data, illustrates which other media platforms are also engaging gamers and which consumer goods they're likely to buy. Ultimately, GamePlay Metrics will establish a metric that can be used for buying and selling dynamic and static advertisements in PC and console video games.
PC Game Rankings
World of Warcraft from Blizzard Entertainment was the most played PC game in June, according to Nielsen's GamePlay Metrics, outranking the next most- played game by four times. In addition to World of Warcraft, the top five PC games for June included Halo: Combat Evolved and Halo 2 from Microsoft Game Studios, The Sims from Electronic Arts and RuneScape from Jagex. The most popular genre was Massively Multiplayer Online Games with four titles in the top 10, including RuneScape and three titles from the Warcraft franchise. Legacy blockbuster franchises with strong customizable communities ("modders") like Grand Theft Auto and Counter-Strike rounded out the top 10.
Nielsen GamePlay Metrics
Top PC Games - June 2007
Avg # of % of Total
Prev Minutes Minutes
Months Played Played
Rank Rank Game Title AA%** Per Week Per Week
1 1 World of Warcraft 0.845 1043 17.959
2 3 Halo: Combat Evolved 0.171 510 3.648
3 2 Sims, The * 0.155 235 3.316
4 6 Halo 2 0.138 509 2.939
5 7 RuneScape 0.131 673 2.788
6 12 Madden NFL 07 0.097 378 2.060
7 27 Warcraft III 0.093 671 1.991
8 11 Warcraft 0.087 508 1.852
8 4 Counter-Strike * 0.087 478 1.846
10 8 Grand Theft Auto * 0.084 314 1.790
Source: Nielsen GamePlay Metrics
** AA% is defined as: Percentage of all PC gamers who played a title at
least once during the reporting period.
* indicates franchise
Nielsen GamePlay Metrics is built upon the same data collection infrastructure as Nielsen's TV ratings system, and can derive in-depth information about console gamers and their households. For example:
- There are seasonal use patterns of game play. In April, Wii's peak
usage hour was 5PM, and now, during Summer Break, Wii usage peaks at 8
- Wii households are upscale. They are more likely to earn more than
$100,000 income per year.
Nielsen GamePlay Metrics Methodologies
Nielsen GamePlay Metrics uses console data collected from the Nielsen's People Meter TV sample combined with Nielsen GamePlay Metrics' proprietary audio signature library that matches the unique audio signature of every game tracked on the six most widely available video game consoles, including PlayStation 2, PLAYSTATION 3, Xbox, Xbox 360, Wii and GameCube. The GamePlay Metrics user sample includes more than 12,000 households with approximately 33,000 individuals.
Nielsen GamePlay Metrics uses PC data collected from the Nielsen's Video Game Tracking Survey. Video Game Tracking is a weekly online survey of 1200 gamers 7 - 54 years of age. Qualifications include ownership of a console or PC, play video games at least 1 hour per week and have purchased at least one or more video games in the last 6 months. The Video Game Tracking online survey has been in the field for more than two years (104+ weeks).
Additional data, including rankings of console video game titles and the electronic metering of PC game titles are in testing and will be available to select Nielsen GamePlay Metrics clients in the near future. On July 5, 2007 Nielsen announced a collaborative agreement with Sony Computer Entertainment America to develop a measurement system for computer game advertising that includes the sharing of video game console data. The Nielsen-Sony data will also be provided within GamePlay Metrics service in the near future.