We crunch the numbers to provide a visual and numerical breakdown of American gaming and console ownership.

Since November 2006, NPD’s monthly console sales reports have provided the best publicly available data on the North American console market. But while these reports give a good rough sketch of the size and shape of the market, they leave unanswered some rather important questions. How many Americans, for instance, are playing games even though they don’t own a current-generation console? How many American households own more than one current-gen system? Are those Nintendo Wii buyers using the system by itself, or as an addition to an Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3? Which console combinations are the most common?

Luckily, an NPD press release from last week helps provide answers to those questions and more. Though the release was primarily focused on the power of “word-of-mouth” advertising and “hands-on play” in gaming purchasing decisions, it also included an interesting table on cross-system ownership among American households. With these new data points, and a few more provided by NPD and the U.S. Census, we can outline the American gaming landscape with much more precision than before.

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