Fifty-six percent of U.S. households own at least one current-generation video-game console, up from 50 percent a year ago.

Thirty-nine percent own at least one iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, up from 30 percent last year.

And 20 percent of U.S. households still own a PlayStation 2, a dozen years after that console’s release — beating out its successor, the PS3, which comes in at 18 percent.

Those are some of the more noteworthy numbers from a new Nielsen report on our changing video-game habits. The chart above comes from a webinar conducted by the firm’s researchers highlighting the data from the report.

The survey found that overall time spent on gaming increased 7 percent over the past year, driven by gains in gaming on the iPad and mobile phones, offsetting a decline in gaming on the Nintendo Wii.

Even with that decline in gaming time, the Wii still has the biggest presence among U.S. households, with 38 percent penetration, despite the rise of Microsoft’s Xbox 360, which comes in at 26 percent. The PS2’s number is a testament to its longtime popularity, and Sony’s struggle to repeat that success with the PS3 in the U.S.

In terms of video-game purchasing, the firm says that total spending on video games by “core buyers” was unchanged between 2010 and 2011, but digital content and subscriptions became a larger part of the mix, up 8 percentage points.

Nielsen’s numbers represent household penetration vs. actual usage or market share. For example, even though 93 percent of U.S. homes have PCs, not all of those computers are used as gaming machines. As another example, if two people in a house own Android devices, it’s counted as one Android household.

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  • Guest

    Although Wii is still owned by more households than are Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, we’ve found that the attach rates have been incredibly poor. That is, those who own Wii are less likely to buy games. Those who own PlayStation 3 tend to use it as a Blu-Ray or Netflix player more often than they play games with it.

    At $60 a pop, console game sales are critical. In this critical category, Xbox 360 is still the undisputed champion of U.S. gaming.

    • Kayoss

      Actually Xbox 360 is still the undisputed champion of U.S. first person (mainly call of duty) shooter gaming. I thought you were missing a few words in that sentence. But this article is utter bs. how can you compare a console that was release 12 years ago to a console that release 5 years ago? People who bought PS2 12 years ago now have a family of thier own and probably not into gaming anymore so theres no need to upgrade.

      • Guest

        Xbox 360 rules all of U.S. console gaming. I apologise for omitting the word “console.”

  • Adamkbfry

    What I don’t get is how 50 million is bigger than 150 million….

    • Todd Bishop

      These stats aren’t sales, they’re household ownership. In other words, some portion of those 150 million PS2 buyers have since gotten rid of theirs, so the ownership of the Xbox 360 is greater. But not enough have gotten rid of the PS2 for the PS3 to be able to surpass it, according to the Nielsen stats.

  • Charles Miske

    Poor Poor Poor 3DS – wonder if it’ll ever catch up

  • M83

    In US anyone see the charts as of late. The PS3 is about to pass the 360 in total sales. Outsold the 360 elsewhere last week 65 to1   Million!!! And then we still have like 2 years after PS3 makes the best ,, 360 dead last again? That has to be the hope for any real gamers so we can have a much better next gen. After having what most call the worst gen, with Microsoft Corp policies hurting and POing 3rd parties. Why are their ports from the 360,,, that policy. And 3rd party developers (unlike most think) hate it!!!

  • M83

    Meaning yea 360 still doing OK in the U.S. Elsewhere the pass is about to be made worldwide. Should be huge news when it does,,, but will see if US journalists make us know so, or if they weed it out around the corner threw talking around it. .

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