NPD: Online Console Gaming Rising

NPD: Online Console Gaming Rising

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Online gaming on consoles saw a healthy rise in popularity this year, while online PC gaming declined slightly despite remaining the most popular overall.

According to market research firm The NPD Group's latest Online Gaming 2009 report, online gaming done on consoles is on the rise, having increased from 19 percent to 25 percent from 2008 to 2009. Naturally, as consoles gain ground the PC loses some, but overall it remains the most popular platform for online gaming.

The Xbox 360 takes up the bulk of the action here, holding 50 percent of online gaming done on consoles thanks to the strength and popularity of Xbox Live. Other consoles weren't quiet on this front though, as the Wii, despite what some would say are meager online offerings, boosted up from 18 percent last year to 22 percent this year. The PS3 also made gains, moving up from fifth place in the standings to third.

The report also had some interesting things to say about age demographics for online games. It seems that there was an increase in online gaming for people age 13-17 while 18-34 and 35-54 year-olds seem to be playing less. That strikes me as a bit odd - I thought all the cool older kids these days were playing Left 4 Dead online.

For the NPD, though, this demographic shift highlights the diversity of the online gaming space. "Online gaming is enjoyed by a diverse group of players," said NPD analyst Anita Frazier. "The sheer variety of content and ease of access makes online gaming attractive to a much larger demographic than what we typically see in retail."

The study was carried out via online survey over the course of January. Over 20,000 people who play games online were polled from ages 2 and over. Oh, so they're surveying toddlers now? No wonder the Wii made gains!

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I'm honestly not so surprised about the 18-34 demographic playing online games less. Most people who are in that age group especially in this age we live in are being pushed to their absolute limit when it comes to time management. The physical amount of time that more employees and students in that age group that have to spend time being at work or school is not decreasing but increasing. Which results in the loss of leisure time for themselves to have a personal life.

More and more people in american society that is part of the 18-34 demographic at least are sleeping less, working more, and have less time to themselves and less privacy. As a retail representative I can tell you first hand that when I did retail when I was seventeen, once I left work there was no callback or contact from my manager. There were no blackberry phones or work e-mail. Fast forward to today and while my responsiblities have no changed at the age of twenty-four I am required to be at "work" about 2-3 more hours a day turning a 9 hour shift to a 12 hour shift. Daily I now have the company I work for e-mailing me, text messaging me, calling me on a blackberry phone on my "capabilities as an employee" and I also have customers contacting me after I'm done with my shift.

It also is not as easy as turning off the phone because you get written up and fired if you do not respond to company e-mails. The worst part is that these calls can happy ANYTIME! I've recieved on a weekly basis about 5 phone calls that happen in the middle of the night that I HAVE to answer because it is from management.

If there is anything wrong with american society today and work is that we are doing too much of work and not letting people have their personal lives back.

Now if you will excuse me I have to respond to these e-mails while I'm on vacation.

wait, what two consoles were beating out the PS3 for 3rd and 4th last year? The PS2 and the Xbox? Did those have online gaming?

HobbesMkii:
wait, what two consoles were beating out the PS3 for 3rd and 4th last year? The PS2 and the Xbox? Did those have online gaming?

they did, there is a slot in the back of the ps2 that lets you plug it into your modem, not sure about the xbox thought...

HobbesMkii:
wait, what two consoles were beating out the PS3 for 3rd and 4th last year? The PS2 and the Xbox? Did those have online gaming?

Actually yes the first generation that we know as "modern online console gaming" came from the Dreamcast, PS2 and Xbox.

Xbox had Xbox live on a variety of games from Crimson Skies to Splinter Cell. Most of the online games were an afterthought for the big name franchises for the Xbox though. It was at the right time to take advantage when consumers had high speed internet access at their homes. Also who could forget Halo 2 when it was Xbox live compatible. The hardware and hard drive to connect online was all built in.

The Dreamcast that started it all had a good amount of online games as well. Famous games like Phantasy Star Online were the tip of the iceberg having players actually communicate to each other while playing a game. Also it was the first incarnation of "Internet time". The shortcoming was that although free the Dreamcast could only take advantage of dialup technology because DSL and CAble were still too new and expensive for the average consumer. AOL still domniated the market of online service.

Playstation 2 probably had the smallest list of online gaming but it was there. The problem was that you needed to originally buy add-ons to be able to hook your PS2 online. Also certain online games required a hard drive. Most known online game for PS2 was Final Fantasy 11 which was a first allowing console and pc gamers to play together on the same servers. There were others such as a re-release of Twisted Metal Black which featured online play and even Everquest joined the party by making an ps2 online MMO.

Even Nintendo's Gamecube has online play as well. You also had to buy an add-on to plug your internet connection and it did support cable and LAN play. Problem was that there was not enough support for online play. There were third party software to expand online gameplay for games like Mario Kart Double Dash. The most famous was known as Warp-pipe, which used your PC to arrange online races. This also worked for Kirby's Air Ride as well. There was also the return of Phantasy Star Online of the Gamecube which continued the MMO trend.

The technology and infrastructure was there but still too new and since consoles were not full computers like they are now with the PS3 and 360, adding software and an OS was not possible to build the infrastructure.

I don't listen to the NPD, they have don't alway get these stats right.

 

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