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72% of gamers play online - NPD

New report finds number of players, time spent gaming online both up year-over-year

More online gamers are gaming online more. That's the takeaway of the NPD Group's Online Gaming 2013 report, which found significant year-over-year growth in the number of gamers playing online, as well the hours spent gaming in an average week.

In a survey of more than 8,800 gamers conducted earlier this year, 72 percent of US respondents said they played games online, up from 67 percent last year. They also reported gaming more, with the average weekly time spent playing online up 6 percent. The boost in overall gaming time per week was 9 percent.

The NPD said the increase in online playtime was reflected across "virtually every type of device." The PC remains the most popular choice for online gaming, with 68 percent of the respondents using that platform. However, that's down from 72 percent last year. Meanwhile, mobile devices saw a double-digit percentage point increase this year, with 56 percent of gamers using them to play online.

Digital distribution also continues to win over the gaming public. The report found that 62 percent of players preferred to buy physical games, down from 65 percent last year.

"While many gamers prefer games in the physical format, the increased availability of digital content paired with a greater amount of connected devices has driven an increase in the number of consumers going online to access the content they want," said NPD analyst Liam Callahan.

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Brendan Sinclair avatar
Brendan Sinclair: Brendan joined in 2012. Based in Toronto, Ontario, he was previously senior news editor at GameSpot.
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