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NPD: 72% of U.S. Population Played Games in 2007; PC Named 'Driving Force in Online Gaming'

A report issued today by stat-tracking firm The NPD Group claims that 72% of United States residents aged 6-44 years played some sort of video game across 2007, representing an 8% jump from 2006.

According to the firm, 40% of United States residents aged 2 years or higher played an online game in 2007, with that figure expected to rise 2% in 2008. A whopping 90% of those who played online in 2007 reported using a PC to do so, with NPD describing the PC as "the driving force in online gaming."

Though the exact reasons were not specified, the high ratio of online PC gamers is most likely due to the abundance of massively multiplayer online games and free web-based casual titles available on the platform. Shacknews attempted to confirm this with NPD, but was told that information is not available to the media.

Renowned game designer Peter Molyneux recently commented on the shifting PC market, claiming that "the PC is just reinventing itself" and is "being owned more and more by casual gamers."

Only 19% of online players stated that they played online with a console, with the Xbox 360 accounting for half of that figure. Interestingly, Xbox 360 owners were reported to spend the most time gaming online per week, respectively followed by PC and PS3 gamers.

"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."

The report noted that 3% said they own two of the three current-gen systems--PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Wii--with only 2% owning all three. It was not specified if those figures were based on the total US population or the percentage of those that play games.

To qualify as an online gamer, participants had to play games online using at least one of the following: PC, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Xbox, Xbox 360, Wii, Nintendo DS, or PSP.

Along with console and PC efforts, NPD's classification of video games includes mobile phone releases as well. The data for the report was collected through online surveys of 20,240 NPD Consumer Panel members aged 2 years or older, with a surrogate overseeing participants aged 2-12.

Chris Faylor was previously a games journalist creating content at Shacknews.

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From The Chatty
  • reply
    April 2, 2008 8:22 AM

    and who says PC gaming is dying

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      April 2, 2008 8:33 AM

      its just something they say every few years...

      just like global cooling in the 70s...

      then global warming...

      now climate change...

      • reply
        April 2, 2008 9:47 AM

        Well actually, both global cooling and warming are happening at the same time because of pollution, global warming has the larger effect though.

        • reply
          April 2, 2008 8:20 PM

          Global cooling and warming are happening at the same time? Man, I didn't realize how bad they teach science classes in school nowadays.

    • reply
      April 2, 2008 9:00 AM


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      April 2, 2008 9:35 AM

      Developers who aren't making MMOs or casual games.

    • reply
      April 2, 2008 9:39 AM

      That would be Epic

    • reply
      April 2, 2008 9:42 AM


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      April 2, 2008 9:43 AM

      It's not dying, it's just becoming a niche market. At least for "hardcore" gaming.

      Peggle, Solitaire and their ilk will continue to do very well because they run on every one of those crap integrated graphics machines that Intel shovels out on the unsuspecting masses.

    • reply
      April 2, 2008 10:36 AM

      No one has said PC games are dying and if you say epic has then you fail at reading and should go back to school to learn reading comprehension.

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        April 2, 2008 2:17 PM


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      April 2, 2008 10:37 AM

      The shack is a bad sitcom.

      Predictable stories get predictable posts. Pro PC story - no matter what it says and people buy into it like fanatics. Anti PC story, not matter how constructive - the tribe turns into a bunch of slobbering mouthbreathers. At the same time the PC fanboys shit on the console fanboys for petty brand loyalty and chest thumping.

      I'm sure a ton of people get a kick out of the posts. I myself have engaged in the occasional lampooning of said posts. To the real deal posters - is this the best you can do? Do you just wait around for these stories to copy & paste responses from a text file? Has the internet sucked you dry of all creativity and objective thinking?

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      April 2, 2008 11:34 AM

      The developers that used to make fanatastic innovative pc games but don't anymore so their games sold poorly and they blamed the pc instead of themselves.

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      April 2, 2008 12:07 PM

      Oh, I forgot ex pc gamers who are now Xbox fans. I really don't think Wii/PS3 fans care becuase they've been consolers forever. My best guess is these ex pc gamers who went 360 don't want the pc to succeed without them. That's why we often see them flaming pc gaming. They want to feel their choice is the right one and everyone should join them in "their" decision to leave pc gaming.

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