With regards to 'total videogame players in the US' my answer is
actually 117 million of which 65% or PC game players.
Now...this contradicts the console answer because what you accepted as
an answer was the # of consoles and not the # of players (ie I
personally own 5 consoles but am only 1 player)
65% of 117000000 is 76 050 000
These stats are from a Nielsen gaming report of ACTIVE GAMERS from
earlier this year.
Of course it is only one survey but it helps.
Nielsen Entertainment Study Shows Video Gaming is Increasingly a Social Experience
Thursday October 5, 9:31 am ET
More Than Half of the Nation's 117 Million Active Gamers Play Online,
and 64% are Women
Teens Spend 7 Hours a Week Playing Socially
LOS ANGELES, Oct. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Nielsen Entertainment today
released its third annual Active Gamer Benchmark Study, which shows
that the social elements of video games are becoming an increasingly
important part of the overall gaming experience. The research found
that among the roughly 117 million Active Gamers in the U.S. in 2006,
more than half (56%) play games online, and that 64% of all online
gamers are women.
Moreover, while gaming has conventionally been thought of as a
solitary experience, the new study reveals that Active Gamers spend
upwards of 5 hours a week playing games socially, led by teenagers who
are socially involved in gaming about 7 hours per week.
The research also shows that although teenagers continue to comprise
the largest percentage (40%) of Active Gamers, more than 15 million of
these gamers (almost 8%) are now 45 years or older. While women make
up nearly two- thirds of all online gamers, men still outnumber women
in the overall video game universe by more than two-to-one.
Among the study's other key findings:
* Though older females make-up the largest percentage of casual gamers,
active gamer teens and young adults also comprise a considerable portion
of this market, with more than half playing casual games an hour or more
* Demonstrating a loyal fan base, the majority of Active Gamers who say
they usually pre-order a title, or buy it the first day of its release,
choose Role Playing games. But while such games typically are thought
of as catering to the older gaming audience, they are the most popular
genre among active game playing teens.
* With next-generation gaming building steam, what will drive Active
Gamers to these advanced console platforms will be the desire for better
graphics and richer game play experiences.
"The Active Gamer 2006 Report comes at a pivotal time in the evolution
of the video game industry," said Emily Della Maggiora, Senior Vice
President of Nielsen Interactive Entertainment. "The expansion of next
generation hardware and technology in the marketplace is
simultaneously delivering new ecosystems of social exchange,
interactive entertainment, media experiences and advertising models.
We see everyday how important online gaming is in terms of connecting
people and bringing communities of gamers together. From a simple
battle in Halo to a more immersive communal experience, online gaming
has the power to unite gamers across the street and/or around the
PC-Based Online Gaming Makes a Comeback
Just a few years ago, talk within the gaming industry speculated
whether the personal computer could survive as a viable gaming system
and successfully compete against console giants and handhelds.
Nonetheless, PC-based gaming recently has evolved into a platform that
provides a unique gaming experience for vastly different gaming
Among casual gamers, for example, online games offer simple and
engaging encounters that are attracting both existing and new gamer
audiences, especially older women. Plus, the growth in broadband
access has helped redefine Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOG)
that let communities of gamers connect in ways that consoles and
handheld platforms can't match.
Even so, handhelds, like online games, have themselves experienced the
most growth year-over-year, thanks to innovative software and
hardware, plus expanding multimedia options.
Examining the Forces Driving the Growth of Video Gaming
This Nielsen Entertainment study examines the dynamics influencing the
growth of the video game industry. Analyzing recent attitudes,
activities and purchasing behavior of more than 2,000 consumers over
the age of 13 who play games at least one hour a week, the new
research identifies several compelling factors, including changing
demographics within sectors of the Active Gamer population and the
resurgent popularity of PC and handheld games.
Video Game System Ownership and Usage
Given the penetration of personal computers in U.S. households, it is
not surprising that 64% of Active Gamers play on PC-based systems.
These systems offer users connected experiences through Massively
Multiplayer Online Games that other platforms cannot match. Personal
computers also are the platform of choice for players of casual games,
especially among women, 64% of whom play video games online.
Among the console universe, Sony's PlayStation 2 dominates overall
ownership at 59%. This is followed by nearly matching levels of
ownership between Microsoft's Xbox (33%) and Nintendo's GameCube
(30%). With Microsoft's Xbox 360, the newest console entrée into the
market, having 15% ownership among Active Gamers. Notably, there is
large cross ownership among Active Gamers and systems. The majority of
Active Gamers also own at least a console and one other platform, with
the level of cross-ownership between consoles and handhelds more than
doubling (7% to 16%) between 2005 and 2006 to date. This is due, in
large part, to the Nintendo DS and the Sony PSP and the unique gaming
experiences they provide to millions of gamers
But unlike consoles, handheld ownership among Active Gamers is
significantly more gender balanced. Furthermore, there is surprising
power in portability. Active Gamers generally average about 14 hours a
week on their consoles, while they often play as much as 17 hours a
week on handhelds. About one quarter (24%) of Active Gamers also play
games on their mobile phones.
Video Games as an Entertainment Experience
During the past six months, Active Gamers purchased, on average, four
games. Of those, 90% were bought in retail stores, with the remaining
10% purchased online. On average, Active Gamers spend 47 hours playing
each individual game they've purchased.
But video games must compete for wallet share and clock time with
other forms of entertainment. Active Gamers spend an average of $58 a
week on entertainment, $16 of which goes to video games. They also
average about a quarter of their weekly leisure time (13 out of 55.3
hours) playing video games. After gaming, music is the second most
popular activity among the majority Active Gamer groups, though it is
tied for first among females at nine hours.
Surveys for the 2006 Active Gamer Benchmark Study were conducted
online from July 3rd to July 9th with 2,200 Active Gamers, who were 13
years old or over, owned a gaming device and played games at least one
hour per week.
To help get a better understanding of the gamer and their thoughts,
emotions and social groups the report included two additional
methodologies. First is an immersive behavioral segmentation analysis,
where the research identified and defined 5 distinct groups of gamers.
Second is a qualitative element where focus groups were conducted that
serve as ancillary support and aid discovery to the quantitative
The Active Gamer Benchmark Study can be purchased by contacting
Nielsen Entertainment at firstname.lastname@example.org
About Nielsen Entertainment
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