Nielsen Media Research, best know for its TV ratings, has released an outline the American video game landscape in the form of "The State of the Console" report. Among the more interesting findings:
45.7 million U.S. households have at least one game system, out of 111.4 million that have TVs (41.1%). This number has risen from 38.6 million (35.2%) in late 2004.
148.4 million Americans have access to a console in their home, out of 283.5 million that have access to TVs (52.4%). Of those, 93.8 million Americans (33.3% of the TV population) actually used a console in the 4th quarter of 2006.
The top 20% of gamers are responsible for 75% of the console time, averaging 5 hours and 45 minutes of use per day.
Those last two factoids are pretty interesting, as they show console games are still appealing primarily to a very small niche of the potential market, and that a small slice of that niche is responsible for most of the actual playing time. If game makers can somehow attract these uninterested console owners, they'll have tapped into a much larger market than they might be used to.