Online play rising, mobile devices gaining quickly, NPD reports

By Steve Watts, May 02, 2013 7:30am PDT

Online gaming is steadily on the rise, as the most recent report from the NPD Group shows that 72% of gamers in the United States report playing online. This is a 5% increase from the same report in 2012. Most devices also saw an uptick in hours played, making the time spent gaming online increase by 6%, and the time spent playing games overall increase 9%.

According to the "Online Gaming 2013" report, the PC is the top platform for online gaming. This makes sense, seeing as PCs are usually connected anyway, but it actually decreased 4% from the prior year (to 68%). Quickly gaining ground are mobile devices as smartphones take hold; they increased a whopping 12%.

Most gamers (62%) also reportedly still prefer a physical format, but that's down slightly (3%) from last year. Brick and mortar stores don't have to sweat it just yet.

These stats are particularly noteworthy as both Sony and Microsoft prepare to launch their new consoles. The PlayStation 4 has an increased focus on connectivity with its social functions, the next Xbox has been rumored to require a connection, and both are likely to put more emphasis on selling games directly to the consumer through online marketplaces.

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