ARs Technica published the results of a survey from market research firm Nielsen about console gaming. Here's a snip:
By the end of 2006, there were 45.7 million homes with a console, and 148.4 million people had access to at least one system. Nielsen also found that the use of "connected" consoles—consoles that connect to the Internet—has grown steadily over the years to 4.4 million, even before the introduction of the PS3 and Wii in late 2006. Systems such as the PS2, Xbox, and Xbox 360 appear to have made connected consoles commonplace in the home, and online gaming services are becoming more popular than ever, as evidenced by the success of Microsoft's Xbox Live service.
The typical gamer profile from Nielsen's report was not surprising: the majority were male (77.1 percent), but with a fair amount of diversity in age. 75.8 percent of boys—12.9 million—age two through 11 in TV households gamed on a console at home for at least one minute in the fourth quarter of 2006 (the average time spent on a console for that age group was 2 hours and 30 minutes per day, however). From the male 18-34 age group, almost half—6.1 million—used a console, with an average of 2 hours and 43 minutes of game play per day. However, consoles were also fairly popular among certain other demographics, with 11.5 million females between 18 and 34 gaming and 10.1 million females from 2 to 11. Even the 50+ crowd isn't afraid to get their game on, with 50+ females out-gaming their male counterparts with 3.9 million gamers, compared to the males' 3.5 million number. Nielsen's data unfortunately does not indicate what types of games each group favored.