The PlayStation 2 was the most played home video game console of 2008 according to a Nielsen study of trends among Americans. The results of the study were compiled into several top 10 rankings. For video game consoles, Nielsen calculated the usage minutes of all consoles found in the home as a percentage and the PlayStation 2 came out on top at 31.7%.
The Xbox 360 was a distant second at 17.2%, the Nintendo Wii was third at 13.4%, the original Xbox was 9.7% and the PlayStation 3 was at 7.3%. The Nintendo GameCube made the list at 4.6% and the remaining amount was grouped in to the “Other” category and accounted for 16.2%.
Data was measured from January to October 2008. According to Nielsen “other” includes "any other console found in the home" and it appears portable hardware like the Nintendo DS or the Sony PSP were not included in the research.
According to VGChartz, sales estimates the Nintendo Wii has sold 20.85 million units in the U.S. , the Xbox 360 has sold 15.71 million, and the PlayStation 3 has sold 7.43 million. It is interesting to note the Nintendo Wii is played less than the Xbox 360 despite the significant lead in units sold. Another interesting note is the original Xbox still sees more usage than the PlayStation 3 despite the latter being 2 years in to its lifecycle and has a growing list of hit exclusive software titles.
Predictably the Nielsen study also found that World of Warcraft was the most played PC game title of 2008 and Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare was second. Old favorites such as the original Sims, Sims 2, and Diablo 2 also made the top ten list.