72% of the US plays games

A new study from theNPD Grouphas found that 72 percent of Americans play videogames, but the research firm says online gaming is still not fully addressed.

The number of gamers in the US rose from 64 percent of the population in 2006 to an all-time high of 72 percent in 2007, according to NPD's latest study, Online Gaming 2008.

Of the total amount of gamers in the US, over half play games online, according to the study.

The PC continues to be the top platform for online gaming, as 90 percent of online gamers say they usecomputers to play online games. Nineteen percent say they use a console and 3 percent use a cell phone for online gaming.

Fifty percent of gamers who play games on consoles say they use Xbox 360 to play online, making Microsoft's console the most-played console online in the US.

"On average, Xbox 360 owners spend the most time per week using their 360s to play games online, followed by PC and PS3 owners using these respective systems for online game play," the NPD said.

The report added that four out of 10 online gamers are ages 2-17 (kids aged 6-12 drive this category), while kids 2-12 account for over 25 percent of online gaming and 18-24 year-olds only make up 10 percent of online gaming.

"Despite the buzz in the industry regarding online gaming, it is still relatively small compared to offline gaming," said NPD analyst Anita Frazier. "There is still a large, untapped market for gaming in general and online gaming in particular."

Other stats from the report include:

* 13 percent of online gamers spend 20 hours or more per week on online gaming
* Per platform, 33 percent of portable online gamers, 29 percent of console online gamers and 13 percent of PC online gamers are in this heaviest online gaming group
* At this point in the lifecycle of today's videogame consoles, multiple console ownership is low, with only 3 percent reporting that they own two of the three "next-gen" systems and only 2 percent claiming to own all three systems

The NPD collected the data from over 20,000 online respondents who are members of NPD's Consumer Panel. Fieldwork was conducted from January 11 to February 5 this year.

Courtesy of Next Generation.

Apr 3, 2008