A new report by analysts TNS Worldpanel Entertainment has revealed that women and older people are playing more games than ever - while figures for the traditional audience remain stable.
Over the past four years, the number of people aged 45 and over who buy games for personal use has risen by more than 40 per cent, while the figure for women gamers is up by 67 per cent. Meanwhile, sales to men have increased by just 4 per cent.
The over 45s contributed an additional GBP 81 million to the market last year, while women purchased 15 per cent of all games bought for personal use.
Although 57 per cent of titles bought will be played by gamers aged under 20, only 22 per cent are purchased by people in that age bracket - with the remainder bought as gifts.
According to TNS, UK gamers spent a total of GBP 1.1 billion on games over the last 12 months, and 47 million units were sold in total. The figures represent an increase of 10 per cent over the previous year and 50 per cent over the past five years.
The research will be well received by the likes of Nintendo, which has repeatedly stated its intention to expand the market by making gaming more accessible. Titles such as Brain Training and Animal Crossing for the Nintendo DS have already proved to be a hit with gamers outside the traditional market, and the company is hoping to attract new consumers with the recently launched Wii console.