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Video Game Market Broadens Its Demographics

23 Dec, 2004 By: Melinda Saccone


Video games are hot, and not just with the under-17 male crowd. Next-generation platforms, combined with the convergence of playback devices, have pushed the game experience to a new level.

New technology that produces lifelike images and integrated surround sound have attracted a new breed of gamer while retaining the veteran hard-core player.

Nearly 50 percent of all consumer households own a video game console, according to Video Store Magazine's 2004 Consumer Home Entertainment Study.

Today, the avid gamer spans a much wider demographic than in previous years. It's no secret that the majority of gamers have been teen males. However, while the core demographic still resides with men, gamers now come in all ages.

The more media-connected consumers are, the more likely they are to have game-playback capability. Multiplayer DVD households were nearly twice as likely (60 percent) to own a game console than their single-player counterparts (37 percent). That figure jumps to 70 percent for consumers with three or more DVD players.

The survey found 63 percent of consumers under the age of 30 have gaming devices, compared with 51 percent between the ages of 30 and 49, and just one-fourth of consumers age 50 or older.

In the past year, 41 percent of men without children said they had purchased a video game. By comparison, 27 percent of women without children said they had bought a video game. However, both of these groups were much more likely to rent games than buy, with 58 percent of males and 38 percent of females saying they have rented in the past year.

Consumers with children are much more likely to purchase game software than rent. While the kid factor greatly increased consumers' propensity to buy game software regardless of gender, the presence of children nearly tripled women's propensity to buy.

More than three-fourths of men with kids said they had bought a video game in the past 12 months, while 69 percent of women with children purchased game software.

More than half (54 percent) of game households had rented a game in the past year. Consumers who rent DVDs at least once a week were the most likely to have rented a video game in the past year (69 percent). This group was also the most likely to buy, with 60 percent saying they have bought a game in the past year.

Gamers between the ages of 30 and 49 were more likely to rent a video game than their younger counterparts. Nearly 60 percent of this group said they had rented a video game in the past year, compared to 53 percent of consumers under the age of 30.

Consumers under 30 were more likely to have purchased a game in the past year (56 percent), while 54 percent of consumers between 30 and 49 had bought a game.

Gamers with household incomes between $60,000 and $99,000 were most likely to have rented in the past year. This group was twice as likely to have rented a game in the past year compared to the lowest income demographic.

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