Sony Outplays Nintendo in Console Browsing

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Two of the biggest players in the video game console market, Nintendo and Sony, are competing hard to provide their customers with the best gaming experience by adding more and more features to their flagship consoles. As a result, video game console browsing has become one of the various Web browsing options available to consumers.

Chitika Insights decided to quantify this new trend in Internet access for their latest report. Our study examined the data from thousands of impressions on the Chitika network by gaming consoles from June 14 to June 20, 2012. A user agent analysis was conducted to come up with the following results:

Sony PlayStation is clearly the leader in this market, commanding a 79% Web usage share, as compared to 21% for Nintendo Wii. This large disparity in Web usage behavior is a bit surprising, as Nintendo has more active consoles in the U.S by a wide margin. The difference is likely that the Sony PlayStation provides its users access to Web browsing features like Facebook integration, photo slide shows, and PlayStation network videos, many of which are not present on Nintendo Wii. These features may tempt PlayStation users to use their console for more Web browsing, as compared to Wii users. Additionally, Wii users must manually enter Web addresses and search queries by pointing the “Wii-mote” at their TV and selecting letters one at a time. This can get frustrating, and it could discourage users from utilizing the Wii to browse on a more regular basis.

While console-based browsing presently only represents a small share of overall Internet traffic, there is a concerted effort by manufacturers for the console to be a central point in the living room. Along with healthy historical sales numbers, video game consoles have the potential to develop into a more dominant point of access in the years to come. In this context, current Web browsing behavior on video game consoles can be an eye opener for advertisers and website publishers. Access over these platforms adds a completely new dimension to understanding user behavior, with Internet usage over these consoles becoming a more natural choice for younger consumers.

Gabe Donnini
Gabe Donnini is a Data Solutions Engineer at Chitika and a lead author for reports by Chitika Insights, the research arm the online ad service. After graduating with a B.A. in Business Administration from Ithaca College, Gabe has been pursuing his passion for technology by researching and analyzing new and emerging trends in the online world. His reports have been featured in a range of international media outlets including; CNN, PC World, MSNBC,The Wall Street Journal, International Business Times and Huffington Post, among others.Follow Gabe on twitter @gdonnini
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  • Ush

    The Wii supports keyboards so the bit implying that the only way to enter searches or sites is by pointing is incorrect.

    This would have been an interesting article if a few other key points were added. I have noticed that Wii owners are more likely to own a personal PC, whereas PS3 owners are less likely to. Thats just my personal observation of people I know though but would have made a much better read if it cross referenced that as well.

  • Satish Nair

    Sony provides undoubtedly the best consoles whether it is PS2, PS3, PSP or the latest rumour in the market going rounds about PS4.

    I am a big PS2 & PS3 fan and own both right now.