By Margarita Nahapetyan
A new study by market research firm NPD Group claims that Americans these days prefer to play video games at home rather than to take a trip to the local movie theater.
According to the latest survey, 53 per cent of individuals in the United States have been to the movies in the past 6 months, and 63 per cent (2 out of 3) have stayed at home choosing to rather play a video game. In addition, as far as to other forms of entertainment, 94 per cent of Americans reported to have listened to music, while other 6 per cent claimed not to have listened to any music in the past half a year.
"Video games account for one-third of the average monthly consumer spending in the United States for core entertainment content, including music, video and games," said Anita Frazier, games industry analyst for NPD. "While a portion of that share stems from the premium price of console games, we are also seeing an overall increase in the number of people participating in gaming year-over-year," she added.
The survey, titled "Entertainment Trends in America," found that the average game player spent more that 38 dollars, on average, every month on "all types of gaming content" in the 3 months leading up to March this year. The report indicated that consumers spent approximately $160 in total per person, on a monthly basis, the majority of which being spend on TV (cable and/or satellite) as well as Internet access. Still, it is about 25 per cent of U.S. consumer monthly entertainment spending that has been snapped up by video gaming.
According to the report, one in three game players (31 per cent) purchased a console or hand-held game in the last twelve months, up 7 per cent over the previous year. Gamers are accessing content in new ways, the study claims. Among console or portable game players 31 per cent reported to play games on a gaming website, 12 per cent played games on a social networking site, 19 per cent enjoyed playing games that were already installed on their cellular phones, and 11 per cent purchased or downloaded a game to their cellular phone.
The NPD's survey also found an increase in the trend of digital distribution, in spite of the fact that the practice is still a relatively small part of the market. According to the findings, 5 per cent of the surveyors in the study have paid for a downloadable game, a year-over-year increase of nearly 2 per cent.
The majority of respondents based their choices of video game playing over movies on the argument that games continue to provide some of the best value around in terms of what you get, buck to buck. For example, spending 40 or 50 dollars for the latest video game can provide dozens if not hundreds of hours of entertainment through its online multiplayer, while the same amount of money will be just enough to pay the cost of two movie tickets, popcorn and soft drinks, a one time pleasure.
The results of the NPD study were based on an online survey that collected responses from more than 11,000 consumers in the United States. Despite a huge popularity of video games, another NPD poll found that video game sales have dropped significantly this year, to compare with last year.