More than half of Americans play video games.
Give yourself a moment to let that sink in: That old lady crossing the street might kick your butt in a StreetFighter match and the girl you fancy at your local pub might actually enjoy an evening of Halo and Gears of War multiplayer action.
Ok, maybe not that girl. Gotta love the shoes though.
Magid Associates latest survey
found that 64% percent of the correspondents in an online survey taken in March this year play video games. That’s more than half in a demographic group ranging from ages 8 to 54. Video games have become the 2nd highest entertainment expenditure for these households, only lagging slightly behind the usual TV / Cable and Internet culprits.
Quotes to Live By
20% of those surveyed stated they "Couldn’t live without a game console".
Male correspondents between the ages of 12 and 24 play on their console once a week, with 60% of that age group unable to imagine a life without it. The overall survey revealed the console industry should expect a nice revenue boost in the future, given that the surveyed expect to spend more money on console games than in 2011. The little nugget is difficult to digest considering the slump we have had recently, and DLC revenue expectations aren’t exactly pretty either: While many were aware of it, only one third had actually purchased a DLC. Across the total age base surveyed, 50% played console games AT LEAST once a week, with the report arguing that "The console is still king: Console gaming has more players, money and time spent than any other platform."
What about Mobile and Social you ask? Glad you asked.
44% of the surveyed played mobile games at least once a week, with social at 37%. Hours played was an interesting statistic as well: 7.2 hours on average for console gamers, followed closely by social at 6.7.
One dominating fact emerged though: Tablets and Mobile owners see games as a primary use for their devices, with only 'general internet access' eclipsing it. Tablet gamers average more than 20 game downloads, while mobile users averaging just over 10. Spending is higher for virtual goods with tablet users, averaging $62 dollars per user contrasted to $25 dollars for mobile gamers. Percentages confirm tablets are leading the mobile gaming industry, as 23% are spending compared to just 14% on smart phones.
Worryingly for Nintendo and Sony is that the survey proves the erosion of the handheld market:
Only 24% of those surveyed played a handheld game once a week, which is in stark contrast to the dominating 44% for mobile.
Vita and 3ds territory is being lost, and the recent sales figures
for Sony are just further evidence consumers are slowly giving up on dedicated handheld devices in favor of robust, multipurpose devices like the iPad and iPhone. At least they can take away the good news that their upcoming consoles should be met with enthusiasm, not just by the hardware market that has fallen flat as their old consoles age, but by the promise of enthusiastic spenders in a market that is still clearly dominated by home console gaming.
For now that is.
Douglas Stewart is a staff writer at iQU. When he is not writing, he devours books, plays an excessive amount of games, and is working on his upcoming fiction novel that (naturally) involves intersections between technology, gaming and society. Follow Douglas @TheGearCog