An NPD Group analysis has tallied up the total number of gamers in the United States and the demographic sectors to which they belong.
The analyst organization responsible for the monthly hardware and software sales figures gamers cling to for a representation of the industry has released survey results revealing the number of people who play games in the United States.
174 million citizens, more than half of the population, can be considered "gamers" from one of seven "gamer segments":
- Extreme Gamers: 3% at 5.22 Million
- Avid PC Gamers: 9% at 15.66 Million
- Console Gamers: 17% at 29.58 Million
- Online PC Gamers: 14% at 24.36 Million
- Offline PC Gamers: 15% at 26.1 Million
- Young Heavy Gamers: 22% at 38.28 Million
- Secondary Gamers: 20% at 34.8 Million
Young Heavy Gamers own a third of all consoles, as well as six out of ten Nintendo DS and Sony PlayStation Portable handhelds.
Only ten percent of PlayStation 2 owners have purchased PlayStation 3s, a statistic that sounds bad initially but when the 100 million-plus PS2 consoles sold and the hunch that nearly all PS3 purchases were pre-existing PS2 owners are considered, the ten percent sounds pretty accurate.
Extreme Gamers, an audience many consider "hardcore," bought 24 games in the past three months, typically for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Playtime averages 22 hours per week, more time than most part-time jobs.
"Although Extreme Gamers are heavily involved with the industry, they represent a small portion of the potential market for any new game that comes to market," said NPD analyst Anita Frazier. "In order to promote continued growth, we must better understand all of the gaming segments."