Gamers who like to keep up with the Jones might be interested in learning that the Nintendo Wii is the console to head for, at least according to research by Nielsen as it launched GamePlay Metrics, a games industry data-tracking service.

Though better known for tracking TV rating, Nielsen has moved into games and with the move has hit the industry with a few interesting facts that are sure to have an impact in areas like advertising.

GamePlay Metrics takes data from over 12,000 households (about 33,000 people) to monitor gaming console and PC game use.

The company says GamePlay Metrics demonstrates, "Who is playing games, on which systems, at what times, and, when integrated with other Nielsen data, illustrates which other media platforms are also engaging gamers and which consumer goods they're likely to buy".

So, back to the Wii news. It seems that though it is the cheapest of the next-gen consoles, it is in fact more likely to be found in households where the annual income is over $100,000.

Following sales figures, the report also shows that PS2 is still leading the way as the platform had the heaviest usage of all consoles as recently as this past June with 42.3% of all console playtime.

The Xbox followed with 17%, the 360 with 8%, Gamecube with 5.8%, Wii with 4% and PS3 at the back with just 3%.

The information gleaned from the PCs bring little surprise as it shows that World of Warcraft was the most-played PC game in June. Players having been playing an average of 17 hours a week, the title accounted for 18% of all PC gaming time.

"This is the first glimpse of metered in-home video game player data, providing game publishers, console manufactures, advertisers and competing entertainment media with the most accurate, objective, and quantifiable metric available", said Nielsen Games and Nielsen Wireless vice president Jeff Herrmann in a statement.

"We believe this will change the discussions surrounding which games get developed for what consoles and how publishers represent their actual audience to advertisers."