Full House: The Reasons Behind and
Consequences of Multiple Console
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Published February 2010. © 2010 Interpret, LLC
Full House: The Reasons Behind and Consequences of Multiple Console
Catalyst: Ownership of multiple gaming systems and its impact on play and purchase behavior is top-of-
mind for most game publishers.
• How prevalent are multi-console households?
• Who, specifically, owns which combinations of consoles?
• Do console ownership groups inform and guide genre preference, thereby impacting game
development and marketing?
As the number of multi-console households increases, driven by the dearth of new consoles in the
marketplace, publishers and retailers need to align their development and marketing strategies with the
unique demographic and genre preference differences across console-ownership combinations. Multi-
console ownership penetration is up overall, particularly among PS3-owning groups (up 230 percent in
the case of the Xbox 360/PS3 combination, according to Interpret’s New Media Measure). Content
producers and distributors should pay particular attention to this burgeoning PS3-owning population,
which is increasingly diversified across hardcore and casual gamers. Also noteworthy is the Wii-owning
group, with its distinctive motion-control interface and unique demographic base (10–20 percent more
heavily female than other ownership groups).
The Ascent of the Multi-Console Household
Over the past year, the size of the current-generation console-owning population comprised of
households containing only one of the Xbox 360/PlayStation 3/Wii set has dropped 11 percent,
according to New Media Measure. Simultaneously, the market has seen a marked increase in
households owning multiple current-gen systems (fig. 1). This is not surprising, given the absence of new
consoles and the continued atomization of the PC-gaming market into casual, social, and niche-hardcore
games. The vast majority of these multi-console households (76 percent) own exactly two of the
consoles in question, but the contingent of those who own all three increased over the past year by 75
percent, to 7.1 million (or 8 percent of current-gen console owners). The percentage of homes that own
all three major consoles outnumbers households owning the Xbox 360/PS3 combination (5.3 million)
and households owning the PS3/Wii combination (6.5 million). The largest multi-console segment is the
Xbox 360/Wii permutation, at 11 million households, or 12 percent of overall current-gen ownership
penetration. Looking at consumers who own only one console, the largest segment consists of owners
of the Wii (30.3 million households, or 33 percent), the system that has consistently proven to be most
broadly appealing to consumers.
Households that own just a PS3 or