Mobile games almost half of full game downloads

By Steve Watts, May 04, 2011 9:15am PDT

The Online Gaming 2011 report from the NPD Group suggests that almost half of all full game downloads are on mobile devices. The announcement didn't specify the exact percentage, but an NPD spokesperson told Shacknews that mobile games took 47% of the total downloads in their poll results.

It's important to note that this is only counting full game downloads, not micro-transactions and add-on content. On top of that, the statistic tracks purchased games, not price, so users snatching up ten or fifteen $1 apps for the price of one downloadable PC or PSN/XBLA game lends the platform more weight. NPD analyst Anita Frazier notes, "full-game price points on mobile devices are generally lower than those for console and portable systems, so mobile's full game download unit share does not translate to a comparable level of consumer spend."

Among other interesting statistical tidbits, 40% of consumers say they're spending less on console or portable games since they started purchasing mobile games, while 60% say they're spending the same or more. "While there is clearly some substitution for spending on traditional forms of gaming among 40 percent of consumers, the majority of mobile consumers indicate that this spending is incremental to their spend on console or portable games," said Frazier, "which makes sense since the games and devices provide for different types of gaming occasions and experiences."

Even as digital downloads take larger chunks of the market, most consumers still prefer a physical copy. 75% said they would choose a physical copy over a digital download, assuming factors like price and release date were identical. Most who prefer the physical format say they want to own a "real" copy, while those who prefer digital mostly cited convenience.

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