Survey Claims PlayStation 3, Wii Most Popular As Video Players

Earnest Cavalli

New member
Jun 19, 2008
Survey Claims PlayStation 3, Wii Most Popular As Video Players

If you're using your PlayStation 3 or Wii primarily to play videogames, there may be something wrong with you. According to a new survey, all the cool kids use these consoles to watch movies.

The modern videogame console can no longer accurately be described as a "videogame console." Yes, the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Wii can all play videogames, but they also have a host of other features. Most notably, all of the aforementioned consoles are capable of streaming video, whether it be films or television programs, directly to your TV.

Nielsen, the people responsible for tracking how well television programs are performing in the ratings, has recently turned its focus toward these new entertainment options, and their findings might surprise you. According to newly-published figures, PlayStation 3 and Wii owners are more likely to be found using their machines to watch video content than playing games. Generally speaking, Xbox 360 owners use their consoles for gaming a majority of the time, but Microsoft's machine is also a very popular video playback device.

"... the use of video-on-demand (VOD) and streaming services accounted for 22 percent of users' overall time on these systems last year, up from 19 percent in 2011 and 13 percent in 2010," the survey results state.

"PlayStation 3 users -- who drove the trend in increased streaming activity -- spent nearly 25 percent of their console time streaming content in 2012, up from 15 percent during the prior year. Wii users remained the most likely to spend their console time using [Video On Demand services] and streaming (32%), while Xbox 360 users spent about 13 percent of their usage time for VOD and streaming content, the same amount of time as last year."

Furthering its examination of how people use their gaming machines, Nielsen notes that the seventh generation of consoles is unique in just how people are playing games, mostly due to the modern ubiquity of broadband internet service and the waning popularity of disc-based video content. "In 2012, Xbox 360 users spent the most time (33%) gaming online, while Wii users spent the highest share of time (40%) playing games offline," the survey finds. "DVD/Blu-ray use in gaming consoles is declining, given the rise in VOD and streaming, but PS3 users were still the most likely to spend time watching DVDs/Blu-rays (18%)."

Nothing there should come as much of a shock. DVDs and Blu-rays are old news these days, and Nintendo's online offerings have never been what one might consider objectively good. By contrast, the Xbox 360 offers the most stable, solid online gaming options. The PlayStation 3 is also quite capable of offering quality online multiplayer, but the fact remains that it's one of the best Blu-ray players on the market and as such there are many who bought Sony's machine purely for that purpose.

How this might change with the introduction of the next console generation is anyone's guess, but we expect any shifts to be less dramatic than the ones seen here. Online gaming and media streaming will likely only grow more popular over time, and hopefully we can all collectively ditch discs as a whole. Storage space is super cheap and at this point DVDs just take up space that could be better utilized by action figures, lunch meats or friendly cats.

Source: Nielsen []



Elite Member
Oct 27, 2009
I actually use my PS3 predominantly as a DVD player. I don't stream movies a whole lot, and I don't game anywhere near as much as I used to.

These stats are interesting, though. Good to see Netflix (or "[On-Demand services]") is catching on. More movie watching!


Level 2 Lumberjack
Jul 17, 2009
There must be something wrong with me then. My PS3 sucks at playing DVD's (It plays them, but the images Jitter from time to time, making it unappealing to watch DVD's on it), and I own a Blu-Ray player. Meanwhile, the Wii is used mostly to play N64 games, Smash Bros. and Mario Kart, with the WiiU being more of a media player then the Wii.


Lord of the Salt
Mar 29, 2012
Who here saw the title and thought, "Well duh, their the 2 consoles that don't make you pay to watch your netflix service."

To be fair, my Wii would still be under a pile of junk if I couldn't watch netflix on it as it hasn't had a hell of alot of decent games on it.

My 360 is basically a big DVD player since most of the games I was buying for it are on the PC and don't charge me to play online.


New member
May 22, 2009
I don't know about other 360 owners, but the reason I don't watch Netflix on it is because if you don't have Xbox Live Gold you can't use Netflix. Meaning that even if my Xbox is online, I still have to pay before being able to stream video that is free on literally ever other system available. And paying money for Xbox Live is pretty much unjustifiable at this point, as it offers nothing that other systems don't for free, and includes ads.


Needs more Dakka
Apr 13, 2010
This seems like a "No shit sherlock" moment, since Xbox requires gold sub on top of a Netflix sub to use the service.


New member
Mar 14, 2012
I actually just started using Netflix to catch up on some TV shows. It runs pretty well on my PS3, so I can see why a lot of people are using it as such.


New member
Feb 7, 2009
Seems about right.

While I do play games on my PS3, I use it far more often for Blu-Ray/DVD, netflix and as a media server.

The Artificially Prolonged

Random Semi-Frequent Poster
Jul 15, 2008
Pretty much all I use my PS3 for now. I used to have it hooked up under my pc upstairs but now it just sits in the living room for whenever anyone wants to watch something on Netflix. I still use it for gaming but the times where I go to play a game on the PS3 are becoming rarer and rarer.


Cynical bastard
Dec 9, 2008
They're not so much video "players", as video streamers where your video library is rented rather than owned.


New member
Aug 31, 2009
I use my PS3 almost exclusively to play blu-ray movies. I'll use my Wii U for Netflix but more often than not I'm playing a game on it.


New member
Dec 12, 2008
This is probably because you need to pay for XBL and Netflix on your Xbox.

This is kinda surprising however, even though I use Netflix on my PS3, it's basically a crippled search engine from 1993. Like, it's bad.