If Microsoft needed any more support for its decision to reposition the Xbox 360 console as an all-in-on entertainment hub, Nielsen’s latest statistics provide just that.

The research company has revealed a sneak preview of its third annual 360° Gaming Report for the US market, which shows that streaming represents a reported 14% of time spent on the Xbox 360.

Across the board, this area is also growing in popularity – 15% of PS3 time is spent on streaming and 33% of Wii time. 

It’s not only good news in terms of streaming though, since time spent on game consoles in general is also on the rise. 

Metered console use from the first half of 2011 shows that the three platforms combined are up 7% in user time versus the same period in 2010. 

Nielsen says on its blog that these findings suggest that streaming is incrementally adding to the time users are spending with consoles.

The company also highlights that each of the three major consoles still display very distinct usage characteristics. 

On a share basis, Xbox 360 is most notable for online gaming (34% of its usage), PlayStation 3 is most notable for DVD/Blu-Ray viewing (22% of its usage) and the Wii is most notable for offline gaming (55% of its usage).

But it will be interesting to see statistics from next year’s report and see if that’s still true, with the launch of Netflix, Hulu, MLB Network, ESPN3 and YouTube apps (among many others) in the US for Xbox 360 – this could total change the way people view each console.

US and UK gaming behaviour is relatively similar, and with the likes of LOVEFiLM, Channel 4, BBC and more also signing up to launch apps on Xbox 360, will we see the same effects over here?