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PS3 and Xbox 360 to drive digital content

The Xbox 360 Elite has an 120GB hard drive, and so can store tens of thousands of music tracks. It can also stream music to and from Windows PCs over a network

Games consoles like the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 are set to become the main drivers of digital content in the home by 2012. That's according to a new report from ABI Research.

Some 184 million household devices will be handling digital content like movies and MP3s in US homes by 2012, with consoles accounting for 85 per cent of that number.

"The manufacturers are aiming to make their consoles more like media centre devices, rather than just being for gaming," commented Steve Wilson, analyst at ABI.

"The advantage they have is market share: their products ship in large volumes. The big question is whether gamers will actually make use of this added functionality built into their consoles," he added.

Xbox 360 already uses Windows Media Center

The report says that computer and gaming manufacturers are leading the industry when it comes to providing digital content to home users.

"The opportunity is there for consumer electronics manufacturers to embed this technology, although so far it is largely the computer network manufacturers who are embracing the concept," Wilson says.

James Rivington

James was part of the TechRadar editorial team for eight years up until 2015 and now works in a senior position for TR's parent company Future.