Video games have become quite popular over the last 30 years, so popular in fact that that fully 65% of American households play video games and this number is growing. Video games are now more portable than ever with handhelds and even phones becoming commonplace for gamers. The term “gamer” to refer to those that play video games is quickly becoming a misnomer because so many people fit this categorically. Let’s have a look at some statistics about the proliferation of video games and the distribution of this population segment.
Of that 65% of the US population, 18-49 year olds make up the largest percentage of gamers at 49%. In times past, it was assumed that the gaming population was children under 18 but today they only make up 25%, perhaps more surprising is the fact that there are more people over 50 that play that children at 26%. The average age of a gamer is actually 32 years old. It was also a common stereotype that men predominated in video game consumption but the numbers are now evening out as 2 out of 5 gamers are female. The average Gamer spends about 18 hours a week playing video games.
Gamer is broad term so let us look at the breakdown of gender versus console preference. Females just love Nintendo’s Wii with 80% saying that it is their primary console, or console of choice. Just 11% play Microsoft’s Xbox360 and even fewer (9%) play Sony’s Playstation3. Males are more divided in terms of console preference. 41% still play the Wii primarily but fully 38% prefer Xbox and 21% like the Playstation3.
As most gamers will tell you the two single largest markets for video games are Japan and the US. So if you want to see how well consoles are doing relative to each other they tend to make the best comparisons. The Playstation3 sold 12.35 million units in the US. So far by comparison in Japan it has sold 4.58 million units, combine that with the international market it has sold 31.59 million units in total. This shows that in general it is more popular with Japanese than Americans. Unsurprisingly the inverse of this preference is found with the Xbox360 which sold 21.5 million units in America but only 1.23 million in Japan for a total of 37.14 million combined with the international market. The Wii has met the largest success in that it has sold a total of 65.32 million units total, and is popular in both Japan and America with 9.67 million units and 30.56 million units respectively, ending with a grand total of 65.32 million units sold.
Here’s a great infographic to illustrate it.