Game consoles can also be used for watching movies but only a minority of users do so, and even fewer have ventured online to purchase or rent a digital movie download. Although seen by some as a key part of the connected home, the multimedia future of next-generation game consoles remains uncertain, according to research by The Diffusion Group.

While 80% of households in America with a games console have one capable of some form of DVD playback or online download, only 13% have used it to watch a movie. That is some eight million households in the United States. Among those, nearly three quarters have only used the DVD for movie viewing, while only a quarter have downloaded one to their games console over the internet.

The research is based on a survey of 2,000 broadband homes in the United States, based on responses from the head of household.

Around half reported having at least one game console in the home, with 15% having two or more. Although 80% of those with a games console had one capable of playing a DVD, only 30% reported this capability. However, among those that own a game console connected to the internet, 42% said they have used it to watch a movie from the internet on their television.

“Today’s next-generation games consoles such as the Xbox 360 or Sony PS3 are true digital multimedia powerhouses,” said Dale Gilliam, the author of the report. “Yet very few of these devices are connected to the internet and, even though these same platforms may feature a high-definition DVD playback system, very few consumers are using them for non-gaming media applications.”

The report provides quantitative research and analysis and offers a high-level discussion of how operators can exploit the growing connected game console audience for delivering an ‘over the top’ online movie download service.

On the use of game consoles for movie viewing, published by our partners at The Diffusion Group, is available for purchase from informitv.