Female gamers are on the rise this year compared to last, according to a new study by the NPD Group, and it's not just the Wii that they're playing.
Well, it's mostly the Wii that they're playing. The NPD's Gamer Segmentation 2009 report, which tracks activity across several categories of gamers, found that females increased by five percent in the category of Console Gamers, increasing from 23 percent to 28 percent in 2009. At the same time, usage of the Wii increased by 19 percent from last year, which the NPD sees as underscoring "the finding that more females are using console systems, especially the Wii."
The percentage of females increased in other categories as well, moving up by four percentage points in the Heavy Portable and Extreme Gamers categories. The growth of the console demographic, however, is the most significant, the NPD thinks.
"Last year was one of the most transformative in history in terms of defining the audience for gaming, said Anita Frazier, analyst at the NPD. "Even with the increased competition from mobile and social network gaming, the console gamer segment added the most new participants to its ranks in the last year."
So what's an Extreme Gamer, you ask? It's got nothing to do with whether or not you skateboard or listen to noisy music - apparently someone who plays an average of 39 hours a week qualifies as Extreme. These people, the NPD says, buy more games than any other category of gamer (despite having the lowest income), but actually have very little impact on the industry as a whole, since they only make up four percent of total gamers. Hate to break it to you guys, but I guess you're not so extreme after all.