Nielsen//NetRatings reports 37% of U.S. adults who go online own a gaming console, and 16% owns a portable gaming device.
The majority of those console owners, 71 percent, are married, and 66 percent have at least one child in the household.
"As game consoles have become increasingly sophisticated, families have incorporated them into their centralized home media centers, which include the television, digital recording device, digital music player and the PC," said Carolyn Creekmore, senior director of media analytics, Nielsen//NetRatings.
Microsoft Corp. and Sony Corp. are positioning their Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 consoles as entertainment hubs for gaming, music and photo viewing amid a fierce battle for dominance in the $30 billion global video- game market.
Sony in particular is making a huge bet on the living room, having installed a Blu-ray high-definition DVD player in each of its new PS3 consoles, which are available for $500 or $600 in the United States, depending on the size of the unit's hard drive