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NPD: Mobile Gamers Officially Outnumber ‘Core’ And Console Gamers

Posted on September 6, 2012 AT 10:40am

It was bound to happen at some point, and now, more official documentation supports the fact that “mobile” gamers outnumber those who play games on home and handheld consoles. Things change.

According to the NDP Group, North America’s top market research company, the total number of “gamers” in the United States has dropped, with a 17.4 million decrease in “Core Gamers, Family+Kid Gamers, Light PC Gamers, and Avid PC Gamers.” That hasn’t negatively impacted the number of people playing games on their smartphones and tablets, though:

“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.”

The size of key gamer segments are shifting, with Mobile Gamers now representing the largest gamer segment, edging out Core Gamers, which was the largest segment in 2011.

Naturally, more money is still spent on physical games, which is definitely due to the fact that most PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, PC, and handheld retailers charge upwards of $50 apiece for software on those systems. Mobile games, on the other hand, tend to cost an average of 99 cents to a few bucks.

But now that “mobile gamers” represent the largest segment of the video game market in the United States, don’t expect that to change anytime soon. In fact, the United States’ gaming demographics will likely look a lot like Japan’s in the near future, with mobile devices greatly outweighing the presence of home consoles.

NPD’s studies were based on 8,488 online surveys, so take that into consideration. Based on the most recent Census information, the U.S. has a population of over 314 million people.

Source: NPD Group

McKinley Noble, Contributing Editor
McKinley Noble has been writing about video games for seven years as a blogger and journalist, with each job adding to his painstakingly alphabetized collection of retro gaming memorabilia. When not cracking jokes about the gaming industry, he's a talking encyclopedia when it comes to mixed martial arts and anything MMA related. Follow him on Twitter: @KenTheGreat1. Meet the rest of the crew.

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