Free & Mobile Gamer segment is the largest group of gamers in the U.S.
Core Console Gamers on average spend more than any other gaming segment
According to Gamer Segmentation 2013, the latest report from global information company, The NPD Group, among all gamers in the U.S., 29 percent fall into the Free & Mobile Gamer segment, an increase of 2 percentage points over 2012.
Avid Omni Gamers, those who are frequent gamers and play on multiple systems with consoles and the PC being the devices of choice, is the only other segment to experience growth; this segment increased slightly to represent 16 percent of the gamer population. The remaining segments: Casual Gamer, Core Console Gamer, Family Gamer and Social Gamer, either decreased or remained unchanged over 2012.
"Growth among both the Free & Mobile Gamer and Avid Omni Gamer segments speaks to the different types of gamer personalities, the type of experiences they are looking for and the growing opportunities provided by different gaming capable devices" said Liam Callahan, industry analyst, The NPD Group.
According to the report, gamers are choosing to play on a variety of devices. Core Console Gamers report playing on the most systems - an average of five, with the Xbox 360 being the most popular among this segment. Additionally, Core Console Gamers are spending more money across both physical and digital games compared to the other segments profiled in this report.
Although using consoles or portable systems for non-gaming activities increased slightly, gaming is still the primary function for these systems. Core Console Gamers are the segment most likely to agree that they use their device for something other than gaming, exhibiting the largest increase in agreement from 2012 - an increase of 6 percentage points to 26 percent. This group, which has the highest usage of Xbox 360 and PS3, appears to be taking advantage of the multi-functionality of those devices such as streaming movies. Core Console Gamers are also significantly more likely to report their family members are using their devices for non-gaming activities as well (34 percent).
"Non-gaming features are allowing for a broadening of the gamer consumer base for consoles as gamers' family members are becoming more comfortable with their gaming devices and starting to play more often," said Callahan.
An online survey was fielded in March 2013 to members of NPD's online panel. The survey was completed by 8,831 individuals ages 2 and older. For children under the age of 16, respondents were contacted using a parental surrogate, with the parent being asked to bring the child to the computer to answer the survey questions. The data are weighted and representative of the US population ages 2 and older.