Video gaming is increasingly becoming a social experience : Nielsen

MUMBAI: Nielsen Entertainment today released its third annual Active Gamer Benchmark Study in the US.

This shows that the social elements of video games are becoming an increasingly important part of the overall gaming experience. The research found that among the roughly 117 million active gamers in the US in 2006, more than half (56 per cent ) play games online, and that 64 per cent of all online gamers are women.


Moreover, while gaming has conventionally been thought of as a solitary experience, the new study reveals that active gamers spend upwards of five hours a week playing games socially, led by teenagers who are socially involved in gaming about 7 hours per week.

The research also shows that although teenagers continue to comprise the largest percentage (40 per cent) of Active Gamers, more than 15 million of these gamers (almost eight per cent) are now 45 years or older. While women make up nearly two- thirds of all online gamers, men still outnumber women in the overall video game universe by more than two-to-one.

Among the study‘s other key findings:

* Though older females make-up the largest percentage of casual gamers, active gamer teens and young adults also comprise a considerable portion of this market, with more than half playing casual games an hour or more
a week.

* Demonstrating a loyal fan base, the majority of active gamers who say that they usually pre-order a title, or buy it the first day of its release, choose Role Playing games. But while such games typically are thought of as catering to the older gaming audience, they are the most popular genre among active game playing teens.

* With next-generation gaming building steam, what will drive active gamers to these advanced console platforms will be the desire for better
graphics and richer game play experiences.

Nielsen Interactive Entertainment senior VP Emily Della Maggiora, says, "The Active Gamer 2006 Report comes at a pivotal time in the evolution of the video game industry. The expansion of next generation hardware and technology in the marketplace is simultaneously delivering new ecosystems of social exchange, interactive entertainment, media experiences and advertising models.

" We see everyday how important online gaming is in terms of connecting people and bringing communities of gamers together. From a simple battle in Halo to a more immersive communal experience, online gaming has the power to unite gamers across the street and/or around the world."


PC-Based Online Gaming Makes a Comeback: Just a few years ago, talk within the gaming industry speculated whether the personal computer could survive as a viable gaming system and successfully compete against console giants and handhelds. Nonetheless, PC-based gaming recently has evolved into a platform that provides a unique gaming experience for vastly different gaming audiences.

Among casual gamers, for example, online games offer simple and engaging encounters that are attracting both existing and new gamer audiences, especially older women. Plus, the growth in broadband access has helped redefine Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOG) that let communities of gamers connect in ways that consoles and handheld platforms can‘t match.

Even so, handhelds, like online games, have themselves experienced the most growth year-over-year, thanks to innovative software and hardware, plus expanding multimedia options.

Examining the Forces Driving the Growth of Video Gaming : This Nielsen Entertainment study examines the dynamics influencing the growth of the video game industry. Analysding recent attitudes, activities and purchasing behavior of more than 2,000 consumers over the age of 13 who play games at least one hour a week, the new research identifies several compelling factors, including changing demographics within sectors of the Active Gamer population and the resurgent popularity of PC and handheld games.

Video Game System Ownership and Usage: Given the penetration of personal computers in US households, it is not surprising that 64 per cent of active gamers play on PC-based systems. These systems offer users connected experiences through Massively Multiplayer Online Games that other platforms cannot match. Personal computers also are the platform of choice for players of casual games, especially among women, 64 per cent of whom play video games online.

Among the console universe, Sony‘s PlayStation 2 dominates overall ownership at 59 per cent. This is followed by nearly matching levels of ownership between Microsoft‘s Xbox (33 per cent) and Nintendo‘s GameCube (30 per cent). With Microsoft‘s Xbox 360, the newest console entrée into the market, having 15 per cent ownership among Active Gamers. Notably, there is large cross ownership among Active Gamers and systems. The majority of Active Gamers also own at least a console and one other platform, with the level of cross-ownership between consoles and handhelds more than doubling (seven per cent to 16 per cent) between 2005 and 2006 to date. This is due, in large part, to the Nintendo DS and the Sony PSP and the unique gaming experiences they provide to millions of gamers

But unlike consoles, handheld ownership among Active Gamers is significantly more gender balanced. Furthermore, there is surprising power in portability. Active Gamers generally average about 14 hours a week on their consoles, while they often play as much as 17 hours a week on handhelds. About one quarter (24 per cent) of Active Gamers also play games on their mobile phones.

Video games as an entertainment experience: During the past six months, active gamers purchased, on average, four games. Of those, 90% were bought in retail stores, with the remaining 10% purchased online. On average, Active Gamers spend 47 hours playing each individual game they‘ve purchased.

But video games must compete for wallet share and clock time with other forms of entertainment. Active Gamers spend an average of $58 a week on entertainment, $16 of which goes to video games. They also average about a quarter of their weekly leisure time (13 out of 55.3 hours) playing video games. After gaming, music is the second most popular activity among the majority Active Gamer groups, though it is tied for first among females at nine hours.

Methodology: Surveys for the 2006 Active Gamer Benchmark Study were conducted online from July 3rd to July 9th with 2,200 active gamers, who were 13 years old or over, owned a gaming device and played games at least one hour per week.

To help get a better understanding of the gamer and their thoughts, emotions and social groups the report included two additional methodologies. First is an immersive behavioral segmentation analysis, where the research identified and defined 5 distinct groups of gamers. Second is a qualitative element where focus groups were conducted that serve as ancillary support and aid discovery to the quantitative findings

Latest Reads
India, China to propel APAC, beat CAS Europe market share

APAC is expected to overtake the market share of Europe in future due to an increasing demand for digital TV set-up boxes in countries such as China and India. North America and Europe dominated the global CAS market in 2015. APAC region is estimated to mark a growth rate of 12.0 per cent CAGR...

Technology Hardware Set-top Boxes
India lucrative market for 4K UHD STBs: Grand View Research

Here’s a view on the demand for 4K or ultra high definition (UHD) set-top boxes (STBs) in India.

Technology Hardware Set-top Boxes
Infor appoints Dass as south Asian subcontinent V-P

Infor, a leading provider of business applications specialized by industry and built for the cloud, has appointed Ashish Dass as the vice president and managing director for the south Asian subcontinent. Infor software helps eliminate the need for costly customization through embedded deep...

Technology Software Applications
Siti & DishTV opt for Conax conditional access

The Essel group has been using Conax’s tech for sometime now for its Siti Network (earlier known as Siti Cable). Now the group has extended that partnership for another product for both Siti Network and DTH operator Dish TV India. This time it is for the cardless set top boxes that the two are...

Technology Hardware Set-top Boxes
Imagine Communications extends functionality of Selenio One unified transcoding platform to OTT

MUMBAI: Imagine Communications, empowering the media and entertainment industry through transformative innovation, today introduced a high-density adaptive bitrate (ABR) transcoding product built on Selenio One™, the company’s software-defined linear transcoding platform. Selenio One is designed...

Technology Hardware Components
DJI Makes Your Smartphone Smarter with the New Osmo Mobile

DJI, the world leader in creative camera technology, Thursday launched the Osmo Mobile, an extension for smartphones that turns them into intelligent, precision camera systems.

Technology Hardware Components
Prime Focus Tech gets funding from PE firm Ambit Pragma

MUMBAI: Prime Focus Technologies (PFT) – the technology offshoot of media services company Prime Focus - informed the Bombay stock exchange today that it had received its first round of funding from growth capital private equity fund Ambit Pragma.

Technology Software Applications
Three new products developed by C-DOT launched on its Foundation Day

Communications Minister Manoj Sinha today expressed the hope that 100,000 Gram Panchayats (GPs) will be connected through Optical Fibre Cable (OFC) by March next to set up a network infrastructure to serve the rural masses.

Technology Hardware Distribution
Genpact and BITS partner to build talent in the field of analytics

Genpact (NYSE: G), a global leader in digitally-powered business process management and services, today announced a partnership with premier technical education university Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS) for offering training programs in the field of analytics.

Technology Software Middleware

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories