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BizReport : Internet : September 07, 2012

U.S.: Mobile, digital gamers outnumber video-console gamers

The number of gamers playing on smartphones and tablets now outnumber "hardcore" video-console gamers, according to new figures released this week by The NPD Group.

by Helen Leggatt

An estimated 211.5 million gamers in the U.S. play video games. However, their numbers are dropping. This year has seen a 5% decline (12 million gamers) compared to last year.

Furthermore, core gamers, those who play video games on consoles, no longer represent the key gamer segment, found The NPD Group.

The new study, "Gamer Segmentation 2012: The New Faces of Gamers", reveals that mobile and digital gamers together now represent the largest gamer segment.

The percentage of gamers who play mainly on smartphones or other mobile devices grew by 9% to 22% of US gamers, while the core gamer group dropped to 21% of the total.

However, despite the rise in mobile and digital gamers, this segment doesn't spend much money and it's the core gamers that continue to keep the industry going, says The NPD Group. Core gamers spend, on average, $65 per game, far more than mobile or digital gamers.

"Given the long lifecycles of the current consoles and the increasing installed base of smartphones and tablets, it's not surprising to see a slight decline in the Core Gamer segment," said Anita Frazier, industry analyst, The NPD Group.

"It's the revenue contribution of the Core Gamer segment that continues to outpace all other segments, and remains vital to the future of the industry."

Tags: gaming demographics, mobile games, mobile trends, online gaming, video games

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  • It seems like the console strategy is to develop an interactive platform to allow for cross-platform functionality so that it becomes a conduit to things like Interactive TV, Netflix, and even the early adoption of teh "touchscreen anywhere" trend that we may see lifting off with software development on the Kinect. I think the core gamer segment will gravitate back to consoles, but I'm also wondering if this is simply a trend that is more indicative of younger gamers accessibility via their parent's smartphones and tablets than a sign of console decline. The article does point however that the overall volume of gamers is down, which is a big surprise to me.



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