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US homes with a console jump 31% year-over-year, says Comscore

Media tracking firm also sees surge in gaming site traffic after pro sports leagues halted

Dedicated game consoles are an increasingly common fixture in American households, according to Comscore's 2020 State of Gaming Report.

The media tracking firm reported that 38 million US households had a console in May, up 31% from the 29 million it found in May 2019.

The COVID-19 pandemic no doubt played a part in that jump, as console hardware sales surged as much of the US began sheltering in place and alternative entertainment options were shut down.

The report specifically contrasted the growth in gaming website views since major US pro sports leagues were halted in March with a mirrored decline in sports website views through May.

Gaming sites have seen increased traffic during the pandemic

Gaming sites have seen increased traffic during the pandemic

As of April, 25% of PC/console gamers said they had watched esports in the previous three months.

If the lack of sports has been fueling gaming interest in the US, that growth may be challenged soon.

The NHL, NBA, and WNBA are resuming their postponed seasons this week. Major League Baseball has also started its shortened regular season in the last week, but has already postponed three games after an outbreak of COVID-19 on the Florida Marlins.

Comscore also found that time spent on gaming sites was up 133% in May 2020 compared to May of 2017, while time spent watching gaming videos on a desktop computer were up 194% over the same span.

Data for the 2020 State of Gaming Report was pulled from a variety of Comscore tracking panels for desktop, mobile, and connected homes, as well as its TV tracking service and a custom surveys from March 2019 and April 2020. The latter of those surveys included 5,087 respondents.

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