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US Teens Use Game Consoles More for Internet than Gaming

61% use game consoles to go online

Having grown up in a digitally charged society, US teens rely on a plethora of devices to function in their everyday lives.

According to a November 2014 study by Edison Research, cellphones were the top device owned by US teen and millennial internet users, surpassing computer and radio ownership. Nearly all 12- to 34-year-olds owned mobile phones—80% of them being smartphones. Internet-connected game consoles were prevalent, with approximately seven out of 10 respondents owning one—a higher percentage than those who owned an MP3 player or a tablet.

What’s interesting is how teens are using these game consoles. They appear to be relying on them more to access the internet than for what the devices were primarily (or at least originally) designed for, according to June 2013 research by Cox Communications.

More than six in 10 13- to 17-year-olds reported using their game consoles at home to access the internet—just as many as were using their desktop computers to do so.

Teens were slightly less likely than that to say they were using a console to play video games. More than half of respondents said they used such a device for gaming, but equal numbers were using their laptops for this purpose.

Handheld gaming devices weren’t nearly as popular as other devices for playing games. Only 28% of teens used them to play video games, while desktops and smartphones were each used by approximately 47%.

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