How the Wii, PS3, and Xbox 360 appeal to different demographics

February 19, 2009

How the Wii, PS3, and Xbox 360 appeal to different demographicsIt doesn’t take a genius to work out that each of the three current-gen home consoles appeals to different sets of people. The Wii, PS3, and Xbox 360 are all very different propositions, and the age and gender mix that play them varies greatly. And now, those user patterns have been mapped to give a clear picture of the different consoles’ diverse user bases.

There are many things that can influence our choice of video games console, from the games that are available on it, to brand loyalty, peer pressure, and even clever marketing. As I’ve opined before, I consider the current-gen to offer the most diverse range of consoles for the widest demographic ever seen on home consoles.

Nielsen Media Research tried to prove the point by tracking usage data by age and gender for all three of the home consoles. Over the course of October to December, 2008, console activity in all National TV Panel homes was measured, and the results are interesting if not very predictable.

Nintendo Wii

The Wii, which is by far the bestselling home console of this generation, appeals mainly to males aged between six and 11, and females aged between 25 and 34. Women over the age of 35 use the Wii much more than either the PS3 or Xbox 360. Which would kind of explain how Wii Fit continues to top the all-format charts month after month.

Microsoft Xbox 360

The Xbox 360, currently sitting in a very comfortable second place in terms of sales, appeals mainly to males aged between 12 and 17, and females aged between 25 and 34. This seems like a bizarre mix but the younger age range for boys could explain the level of petty whining and douchebaggery on display over Xbox Live.

Sony PS3

The PS3 generally seems to appeal to the older generation, with no young kids anywhere in the mix. This could just be because the Sony machine is so damn expensive that kids are still saving up their pocket money for one. Both males and females saw the largest usage amongst the 18 to 24 age range. This is considered the hardcore range where gamers play more games and for longer than any other age range.

The most telling statistic to emerge from this survey is that the Wii is by far the least used console, despite being installed in the most homes. This confirms a thought I’ve had for a long time now: the Wii is a short-lived novelty only brought out for parties.

27 Responses to “How the Wii, PS3, and Xbox 360 appeal to different demographics”

  1. darkwhitehair:

    really??? I thought the Wii was for TEH HARDCOREZ!!!

    damn wheres that sarcasm font??

  2. darkwhitehair:

    also check out the Hey Ash watcha playing video on Gametrailers… made my day…

    boom boom boom… I wantcha in my room…

  3. SW:

    Mr. Iwata enjoys the salty taste of your tears licked off a 10,000 yen note that he just used to snort a pound of cocaine off a swedish prostitute left nipple (big nipples I know).

  4. darkwhitehair:

    tinyurl.com/c636hx

    I have a fan… YAY!!!!

  5. Royzy:

    DWH, I wasn’t mentioned in your message. I’m gutted.

  6. darkwhitehair:

    cus youre secretly Kev… trying to infiltrate Sony fanboy headquarters with your random fanboyism…

  7. CarlB:

    More from the source article… “In terms of overall usage, males using the Xbox 360 are playing almost twice as many days per months as females (10.2 vs. 5.4 in December), but on the other two consoles, usage days for males and females are much closer… ”

    mediaweek.com/mw/content_display/news/digital-downloads/gaming/e3i8f6bf92e292731587f6a9c8fd4c1544b

  8. darkwhitehair:

    on this issue… I think in the PS2 era… the PS2 looked so harmless and had relatively casual games… so normal people bought them… where as the Xbox looked pretty hardcore…

    now the PS3 looks hardcore and the Wii looks cute… also trashy carnival games are apparently what the casual gamers like…

  9. chillyfish:

    If Nintendo have proven one thing this gen, it’s that casual gaming is a goldmine.

    Sony and Microsoft can only wish their machines had as broad appeal as Wii.

  10. SW:

    “Sony and Microsoft can only wish their machines had as broad appeal as Wii.”

    I really hope they never do.

    “males using the Xbox 360 are playing almost twice as many days /snip”

    I am guessing that’s due to many new games at Christmas.

    All 3 of my machines are pretty dusty at the moment as I get some L4D in (yay for steams half price weekend!) etc.

  11. phranctoast:

    “This seems like a bizarre mix but the younger age range for boys could explain the level of petty whining and douchebaggery on display over Xbox Live.”

    Don’t forget Gamer Blorge.

  12. CarlB:

    “because the Sony machine is so damn expensive that kids are still saving up their pocket money for one”

    Excepting those on Gamer Blorge.

  13. CAD:

    “In terms of overall usage, males using the Xbox 360 are playing almost twice as many days per months as females (10.2 vs. 5.4 in December), but on the other two consoles, usage days for males and females are much closer… ”

    That’s because there’s nothing good to play on the Wii and the PS3. That explains why there always on the Web and Gamer.Blorge instead of playing games. That’s why their collecting dust.

  14. phranctoast:

    @CAD
    That doesn’t really help your case too much, as you are on here the most, and have been on Blorge the longest (you frequently let me know that a while ago….ex..”you’re new here”…blah blah blah)

    Enough with the “no games” BS. Are you still trapped in some 2006 time warp?

  15. kev:

    given the lack of education shown by the resident ps3 fanboys here, it’s safe to say the prebuscent have found a home at sony’s HOME.

    the reason you don’t hear them is because hardly anyone has voice com on the ps3′s online fiasco….

  16. lock_down:

    Yeah, because Xbox Live never has fiasco’s…

    pcworld.com/article/159902/microsoft_repairing_xbox_360_renewal_of_death.html/

    joystiq.com/2009/02/20/hackers-booting-people-off-of-xbox-live/

  17. lock_down:

    Carry on looking stupid kev :D

  18. kev:

    lockdown – congrats you found two links in over 10 million users and 4 years on the market and you found two problems

    want to link the ps3′s that sony’s online bricked in the less than ONE year PSN was on the market.

    besides this is about the ps3′s clown-demographics…. of which you just proved the existence of….

  19. lock_down:

    “ps3’s clown-demographics…. of which you just proved the existence of….”

    hehehe, that’s funny.

    What demographic are you part of kev?

  20. phranctoast:

    He’s the 53rd Card in the Deck lock down…….

  21. kev:

    i’m the one sony/ms/ninty love…

    a lifelong gamer with plenty of discretionary income…..

  22. Barnabe Jones:

    “discretionary income” – AKA single.

  23. SW:

    Aww don’t go down to his level Mr. Jones.

    Next you’ll be calling him noobs, insulting education, and saying that because of him, one person, the entire 360 demographic are a bunchy of retards.

  24. SW:

    And yes I typed that post by chewing on my keyboard.dot.

  25. Barnabe Jones:

    lol that’s ok… most of the time my comments look like I typed them with my feet…. With my shoes on.

  26. CarlB:

    nice link lockdown, here is the source bbc one:

    news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/7888369.stm

    This was irking me when I was playing GTAIV before I left and trying to get all the achievements… I would be winning a race (by a lot) and would get booted several times in several different races. This happened online with me on the PC years ago and was a major factor in turning me off to online multiplayer: cheaters. Live does a good job of tracking stats so you can generally avoid playing with these people in the future and report them as well. Fortunately single player RPG’s are my favorite genre, so it doesn’t bother me so much.

  27. Arvis:

    Carl said: “Fortunately single player RPG’s are my favorite genre…”

    Well, you can bash and hate on Sony all damn day now, and I’ll still respect you. :D

    -Arvis

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