Legacy PlayStation system ownership among kids sees boost during pandemic

Sony is currently gearing up for the launch of its next-gen console, PlayStation 5, but its older systems are in the spotlight currently, especially as parents look to keep their kids socially distanced, safe, and entertained during the ongoing pandemic. According to Intepret’s GameByte®, US households with kids age 3-12 are seeing increased levels of PlayStation system ownership when comparing Q1 to Q3 2020, while Nintendo Switch and Xbox One ownership remained flat or slightly down. Nintendo 3DS, which was recently discontinued by Nintendo, was also down.

Reported PS4 ownership levels increased from 49% to 54% among gamers age 3-12, and even the older PS3 saw slight gains. It’s possible that some of these ownership increases among kids comes from older siblings as hand-me-downs or from parents who are ready to pass their PlayStation systems to their children as they get ready to purchase a next-gen system.

Gaming usage (not just ownership) among kids also increased on PlayStation systems, as well as across Android smartphones, iPhones, and computers, while holding steady for Nintendo Switch and Xbox One. With many kids staying home, and now remote schooling, parents are doing their best to keep their children entertained and gaming is way up as a result. 72% of kids report playing more video games during the pandemic, which leads other forms of entertainment, and 47% of households with kids report decreases in social activities.

Playdates are clearly a risk during the pandemic, so online gaming is one way for kids to still engage with their friends. In fact, Interpret data shows that 42% of kids now play online with their real-world friends, which is up from 36% during Q1. It’ll be interesting to see how these behaviors potentially evolve as the pandemic eventually abates.