This report covers the U.S. market for home console hardware and video game software played on consoles. Games played on portable consoles, mobile phones and tablets, PCs, or online are discussed as competing technologies; they are not the main subjects of the report.
Sales data includes sales of console hardware and console game software. Sales data excludes revenue from game accessories.
- Americas - The entirety of North and South America, used when presenting unit sales in this report.
- Broadband - A communications channel with high (or wide) bandwidth capacity that allows fast transmission of high volumes of multiple kinds of digital information simultaneously. Also known as high-speed internet.
- Casual Game – According to the Casual Gaming Association (CGA), casual games are “video games developed for the mass consumer,” even one who would not normally regard him- or herself as a “gamer.” Casual games are easy to learn and require no previous video game skills or expertise, or regular time commitment. Characteristics of casual games include games with simple rules or rules that many people are familiar with already from another format (such as card games and board games). Casual games tend to have short playing times and be inexpensive to purchase or play.
- Casual Gamer – A video game participant who typically plays casual games and does not fall into the category of hardcore gaming enthusiast.
- Current-generation consoles – Refers to the Xbox 360, PS3, and Wii.
- Freemium – A business model whereby the initial purchase (download in the case of mobile games) is free but virtual goods (avatars, levels of play, enhancements) or premium enhancements are available for a fee.
- Hardcore Gamer – According to the CGA, a hardcore gamer is typically an 18-34-year-old male who plays for exploration and stimulation. Games played by this group often include the genres of sci-fi, horror, suspense, or war game. A hardcore gamer is expected to spend five hours a week or more playing high-end packaged games.
- In-game advertising - Advertising that is embedded within a game. In many cases, the ads are served into the game from an online ad server. If the game is played online, ads can be updated/changed and may be different each time the game is played.
- Social gaming - In current usage, social games or social gaming are games played on and using the infrastructure of a social networking website such as Facebook or Twitter. Games are played with, against, or alongside social-network friends, often asynchronously.