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Kids gaming most on mobile - NPD

Research firm finds 63 percent of kids aged 2-17 play on mobile, while computer usage down dramatically since 2013

The NPD today released snippets of its Kids and Gaming 2015 report, including the finding that mobile devices are now the most popular gaming platforms for kids.

According to the research firm's online survey, 63 percent of kids aged 2-17 play games on mobile devices. While that number was more or less unchanged since 2013, it was enough for mobile gaming to overtake computers as the most popular platform thanks to a significant downturn on that front. The NPD found 45 percent of kids game on a computer, down from 67 percent in 2013. The firm noted that computer gaming is on the decline across the board, but the dropoff has been sharpest in the 2-5 age group.

"The largest and most surprising shift in the 2015 gaming ecosystem was kids' move away from the computer," said NPD industry analyst Liam Callahan. "In the past, the computer was considered the entry point for gaming for most kids, but the game has changed now that mobile has moved into that position. This may be related to a change in the behavior of parents that are likely utilizing mobile devices for tasks that were once reserved for computers."

The group did not reveal the overall usage rate of console games for kids, but did say they had declined in popularity. Among the 9-11 age group, NPD found 41 percent played games on consoles.

Even though kids may be growing up in a digital generation, the NPD Group found that they still spend most of their gaming money on physical options. For the past three months, the NPD Group found the average spending on physical games was $27, compared to $13 for digital. However, the physical number was more or less flat, while the digital amount is rising. The firm also looked into gender breakdowns, finding that girls were more likely to game on mobile devices, but average spending on mobile was the same for girls and boys.

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Brendan Sinclair

Managing Editor

Brendan joined GamesIndustry International in 2012. Based in Toronto, Ontario, he was previously senior news editor at CBS-owned GameSpot in the US.