Although a whopping 41.1% of households in the US have some sort of gaming console, it's still the hardcore gamers who dominate playing time.

This is according to an exhaustive study by Nielsen research that covers the last quarter of 2004 through to the fourth quarter of 2006, and spoke to 12,000 people in the US.

Since 2004, the number of households with TVs and gaming consoles increased 18.5% - and this in light of the fact that the number of households with TVs grew only by 1.6%.

The study only took into account consoles that hooked up to a TV for gaming purposes, so that the number of households with portable gaming consoles like the Nintendo DS and Sony PSP were not even taken in to account.

The research also revealed that the number of households with consoles hooked up to the internet has grown to 4.4 million, and that 93.8 million people used a video game console at least once for a minute or more.

As expected, two-thirds of men in TV households between 18-34 years of age have access to a console, and a whopping 80% of boys between 12 and 17 have a videogame console.

Surprisingly, hardcore gamers, those who spend the most time playing games, account for almost 75% of total console usage.