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72% of US playing games, says NPD

A new study from the NPD Group found that 72 per cent of the US population played videogames in 2007

According to a new NPD Group report, 72 per cent of the US population participated in videogaming in 2007 - up from 64 per cent the prior year.

Of those playing games, more than half said they played games online.

The "Online Gaming 2008" study found that the PC continues to be the driving force in online gaming, with 90 per cent of online gamers stating they use that platform to play games online. Only 19 per cent claimed to use a videogame system - console or portable - to play online, and 3 per cent used a cell phone.

"Despite the buzz in the industry regarding online gaming, it is still relatively small compared to offline gaming," said NPD Group analyst Anita Frazier.

"There is still a large, untapped market for gaming in general and online gaming in particular."

Children ages 2 to 12 are driving more than 25 per cent of online gaming, according to the study, with 18 to 24 year-old representing only 10 per cent of online gaming.

The Xbox 360 is the favoured system used by those who use videogame systems to play online. Xbox 360 owners actually spent more time per week using their console to play games online than PC and PS3 owners.

Multiple console ownership was low, with only 3 per cent reporting that they owned two of the three "next-gen" systems and only 2 per cent claiming to own all three systems.

NPD's report was based on a survey of 20,240 consumer panel members conducted between January 11 and February 5 of 2008.

Update: The NPD has clarified its report to note that the 72 per cent figure only applies to the US population between ages 6 and 44.

Of the 20,240 members surveyed, 59 per cent participated in gaming, and 56 per cent of those gamers played online.

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