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Report: Over half of U.S households now own a game console

A report from the Consumer Technology association indicates game console ownership rose sharply in the pandemic, and more Americans intend to purchase a new game console than in prior years.

Over half of U.S households now own a video game console, and thirty percent of households plan to buy a console in the next 12 months, according to a report from the Consumer Technology Association.

The group’s report covers a large variety of technology goods, including TVs, digital streaming services, and DVD/Blu-ray players, but the report’s data on game console ownership is eye-catching, particularly for the jump in console ownership rates that seem clearly tied to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here’s a drill-down into the CTA’s numbers:

According to the CTA report, 53 percent of U.S households now own a video game console—that number ticked up 10 percent year-over-year, a notable increase for this report.

Of those surveyed, 41 percent of those users own prior-generation game consoles (Xbox 360/One, PlayStation 3/4, Nintendo Wii, Wii U, and Switch), while 26 percent of respondents own an Xbox Series X|S or PlayStation 5.

Elsewhere, 30 percent of those surveyed say they want to purchase a game console in the next 12 months. In 2020, that number was 21 percent.

For those looking to purchase new consoles, 21 percent plan to buy a “next-generation console” (Xbox Series X|S, PS5), while 15 percent intend to buy a “recent generation console.” (Those numbers may scrub out differently depending on where you put the Nintendo Switch in the console generation lineup.)

Stepping back from the CTA's numbers, it's interesting to see how this information creates different opportunities for each of the different console makers.

Sony clearly sees some advantage in still shipping next-generation titles like Horizon Forbidden West for both PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5, while Microsoft is eyeing turning Xbox One devices into cloud computing machines by way of its xCloud streaming service.

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