Americans would rather waste away an evening playing videogames than take a trip to the local multiplex, according to the findings of market research firm The NPD Group.
Look around you, young American. Well, if you're alone in your room don't. But if you're in a place with more than two people around, go for it. Two out of those three people (probably including yourself) have played a videogame in the past six months, at least that's according to the latest findings of market research firm The NPD Group, whose most recent update to their Entertainment Trends In America study found that 63% of Americans in the last half year. Makes you feel a lot less alone, doesn't it?
Well, maybe not. As far as forms of entertainment go, the NPD findings show that music is by far the most popular, with 94% of Americans saying they listen to it. Games do, however, rank above movies, with only 53% of Americans reporting that they've gone out to see a film in the last six months.
"Video games account for one-third of the average monthly consumer spending in the U.S. for core entertainment content, including music, video, games," said Anita Frazier, games industry analyst for NPD. "While a portion of that share stems from the premium price of console games, we're also seeing an overall increase in the number of people participating in gaming year-over-year."
This might not come as a complete surprise to some. Even if you're not a hardcore gamer, playing games still might seem like a better investment than going to the movies, especially in these days of penny-pinching. After all, buying a game can get you unlimited amounts of entertainment if you choose the right one, and usually more than the 90 minutes or so you get for a pricey movie ticket (plus the cost of concessions and the like).
So it's not hard to see why people are playing games, but how exactly are they doing it? The NPD reports that 10 percent of U.S. consumers are playing games on social networks - like Scrabble on Facebook, or something like that. Five percent, meanwhile, have paid to download a game, a two percent increase from last year. Digital downloads, then, seem to be on the rise.
"As with video and music, sales of physical gaming products still account for the bulk of consumer spending on video games, but digital downloads and other delivery and game-play formats are also rising in popularity," Russ Crupnick of the NPD said.