42% Of Americans Play Games Online

    April 2, 2008

Participation in gaming increased in 2007 over 2006, from 64 percent of the population to 72 percent of the population according to a new report from The NPD Group, "Online Gaming 2008."

More than half play games online, with 90 percent of online gamers saying they use a PC to play games and 19 percent said they use a video game console with 3 percent saying they use a cell phone.

The number of online gamers relative to the total U.S. population is 42 percent so far this year, up from 40 percent in 2007.

Of those who use a video game console for online gaming, Xbox 360 is the most popular, with 50 percent saying they play games using that system. On average, Xbox 360 owners spend the most time per week using their consoles to play games online, followed by PC and PS3 owners.

Thirteen percent of online gamers spend 20 hours or more per week on online gaming. Per platform, 33 percent of portable online gamers, 29 percent of console gamers and 13 percent of PC gamers are in this heaviest online gaming group.

Multiple console ownership is low, with only 3 percent reporting they own two of the three systems and only 2 percent say they own all three systems.

"Despite the buzz in the industry regarding online gaming, it is still relatively small compared to offline gaming," said Anita Frazier, industry analyst, The NPD Group.  "There is still a large, untapped market for gaming in general and online gaming in particular."