Video gamers in the US spend less time watching TV

MUMBAI: Video gamers in the US are increasingly spending less time consuming TV. A study by American integrated media company Ziff Davis Media shows that nearly a quarter of all video game players watched less television than last year. They expect to cut their viewing time even further this year.



The study titled Digital Gaming in America survey covered 1,500 randomly selected US households. The study also showed that 76.2 million people in the US play video games, up from 67.5 million a year ago, representing an increase of 11.4 per cent. The increase in gaming follows strong sales of portable gaming systems and reductions in the prices of current-generation video game consoles.

The study reveals a number of surprising shifts in gaming habits and consumer preferences in 2005. The study lends credence to observations that consumers are increasingly turning away from television and towards videogames for their entertainment. The Digital Gaming in America study found that 24 per cent of gamers reduced their TV watching over the last year, and a further 18 per cent expect to do so in the next twelve months.

Video gamers watched 16 hours per week in 2005 versus 18 hours per week in 2004, representing an 11.1 per cent decrease. Furthermore, among core gamers, High Definition Television (HDTV) viewership increased to 18 per cent in 2005 versus seven per cent last year.



In 2004, video gaming overtook PC gaming for the first year ever. The strong growth in video games continued in 2005. This year, 62.6 million households played video games and 56.6 million played PC games, versus 54.5 million and 52.3 million, respectively, last year. According to the study, this year core gamers will spend an estimated $5.6 billion on gaming products, also up from a year ago.

One of the leading trends impacting the videgame market is portable gaming, which continues to grow strongly. According to the study, 40 per cent of video gamers are likely to purchase a portable gaming device in the next twelve months.

Habits of a Portable Gamer: According to the study, 86 per cent of video gamers own a cell phone this year, which is up from 70 per cent a year ago. Of these individuals, 48 per cent play games on their mobile devices. The high proportion is due mainly to the advancement in technology of cellphones and their ability to play multi-functional video games with improved graphics.

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