Nielsen: Video Games Increasingly Compete For Screen Time

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As if broadcasters didn't have enough competition from cable and satellite and telcos and wireless companies and the Internet, video game consoles are becoming a force in the nation's living rooms, and not just for games.

According to a new report from Nielsen, the number of video game players is up 18.5% since 2004 to 41.1% of all TV homes (45.7 million households).

“In households across the country, consoles are successfully competing for consumers’ time and attention," said Jeff Herrmann, VP of Nielsen Wireless and Interactive Services, in announcing the study,"[and] not simply as gaming platforms, but as multimedia hubs that also can deliver high quality digital movies and IPTV.”

The IPTV part of the equation still has a ways to go, with only 4.4 million households having players connected to an Internet gaming service.

Nielsen is teasing a new service, Gameplay Metrics, which it plans to roll out later this year to provide metered-market-based game play usage data for use by advertisers for in-game and "around-game" ads.