Consoles in decline in UK homes

Consoles in decline in UK homes
Craig Chapple

By Craig Chapple

October 4th 2013 at 1:00PM

Tablet availability and usage rises significantly amongst children, according to a new Ofcom report

The number of consoles in UK households is in decline for the first time since 2007 across all age groups, according to a new Ofcom report.

The children and parents media use and attitudes report claimed that children aged between five and 15 were now less likely to have a console in their bedroom, with numbers dropping form 56 per cent in 2012 to 47 per cent in 2013.

Overall console ownership also dropped slightly, with 87 per cent of children aged five to 15 having access to the hardware in the home.

Use of game handhelds also dropped from 86 per cent to 81 per cent in the same age group.

Availability of tablets meanwhile shot up significantly during the last year, and now feature in 51 per cent of houses in which children aged five to 15 live, compared to just 20 per cent in 2012.

Tablet usage also increased three-fold from 2012, with five to 15 year olds using tablets to play games rising to 23 per cent, compared to seven per cent last year.

You can view breakdown of console and tablet availability in the home below.


There was also a similar decline for consoles based on the socio-economic grouping of household. The sharpest drop was seen in ‘DE’ (Working class) households, which fell from 90 per cent to 84 per cent.

Around a quarter of children aged 12 to 15 are said to have their own tablet computer, while children aged from six are also likely to be tablet users.

Despite a decline in the number of consoles or game players in homes, they are still the second most common type of medium in a child’s bedroom. One in ten children have a console in their room, while 57 per cent of 12 to 15 year olds also own one.

There has however been a significant drop of children having a console in their bedroom from a high of 65 per cent in 2009 to 47 per cent in 2013.

The number of TVs present in a child's bedroom has also sharply declined from 69 per cent 2007, to 53 per cent in 2013, which could reflect the similar decline in consoles.


It should be noted that the decline in number of consoles in the home, and particularly children’s bedrooms, could potentially be reversed or at least halted with the onset of the next generation of hardware such as the PS4 and Xbox One.

The findings clearly show however that tablet usage are on the rise, and with the decline in the availability of TVs in children's bedrooms, it could suggest tablets are gradually taking on the role of a games and entertainment media hub away from the TV outside of the living room.