Video game consoles aren’t just for games anymore.
Even as Sony and Microsoft prepare new consoles for the holiday season, their current consoles, along with Nintendo’s new Wii U, are increasingly being used to stream from popular services like Hulu and Netflix.
In its most recent survey, Nielsen found more time on consoles is being diverted from gaming and watching DVDs to streaming content instead.
Nielsen’s chart says it all:
NielsenAnd that’s why if you like video games, even casual ones, you might want to consider a console instead of a streaming box like a Roku, Boxee, or Apple TV.
All three major consoles,The Wii U, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360, now give you access to just about every popular streaming app. The PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 let you download or rent movies and TV shows, just like you would from iTunes.
What’s great about these devices is they’re essentially full-fledged computers, meaning they can get software updates over time to add more apps and streaming services. For example, when the Xbox 360 first launched in 2005, it couldn’t do much more than play video game discs and DVDs. But several software updates later, and you can easily replace your Apple TV with your Xbox 360 and in some cases, your cable box.
Sony is gearing up to launch its next-generation console, the PlayStation 4, for the holidays. We’ve only had a peek at what the system can do, but Sony did say streaming services will be a big part of it.
Microsoft is expected to announce its next Xbox at the E3 video game conference in June, and it should also have a variety of streaming entertainment options.
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