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NPD Surveys Attitude, Habits Of Online Gamers

The chart and analyst firm NPD has released initial details from its second annual online gaming report, "Online Gaming II: The Consumer Perspective." The study, based on...

Simon Carless, Blogger

October 26, 2005

2 Min Read

The chart and analyst firm NPD has released initial details from its second annual online gaming report, "Online Gaming II: The Consumer Perspective." The study, based on the gamer's perspective for the three main online gaming platforms - PC/Mac, PlayStation 2 and Xbox - provides insight into current behavior on these key platforms and how such behavior has changed over the past year. The report is based on online survey responses from more than 2,000 members of NPD's online consumer panel, and is weighted to represent the population of individuals ages 13 to 44 in the U.S. Particular highlights revealed include the fact that the PC/Mac is still the primary platform used to play games online - two-thirds (66%) of gamers say they use it. However, the PC/Mac has experienced a two percentage point decline in usage penetration for online gaming since last year. On the other hand, consoles have made significant gains over the past year, with Xbox experiencing the strongest growth, more than doubling its penetration. According to the report, when compared to last year's results, PS2 and Xbox online gamers indicated an increased willingness to pay for online game play, and also continue to report a high interest in downloading content, though specific figures were not released by NPD in its survey overview. "The growth of online Xbox gamers is impressive, more than doubling its penetration since last year," said Anita Frazier, entertainment industry analyst, The NPD Group. "The number of gamers playing online via Microsoft's Xbox has been on the rise, especially among females and teens. However, the Xbox is still a much smaller contender when compared to the PC/Mac for usage penetration among the total online gaming market." In terms of the types of games played on each system, PlayStation 2 users have a higher propensity to play sports games online, whereas Xbox users are more likely to play shooting games online. On the PC/Mac platform, online card/puzzle/arcade/word games have experienced a decline in usage penetration since last year, while massively multi-player online games have experienced a healthy increase in usage penetration since last year. Males mostly drove these changes occurring on the PC/Mac platform.

About the Author(s)

Simon Carless


Simon Carless is the founder of the GameDiscoverCo agency and creator of the popular GameDiscoverCo game discoverability newsletter. He consults with a number of PC/console publishers and developers, and was previously most known for his role helping to shape the Independent Games Festival and Game Developers Conference for many years.

He is also an investor and advisor to UK indie game publisher No More Robots (Descenders, Hypnospace Outlaw), a previous publisher and editor-in-chief at both Gamasutra and Game Developer magazine, and sits on the board of the Video Game History Foundation.

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