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NPD: Mobile accounts for around half of all full game downloads

Study reveals extent of market share for mobile devices

Online Gaming 2011, a study from US consumer tracking company NPD, has claimed that around fifty percent of all full game downloads by survey respondents took place on mobile devices, followed by PCs, consoles and handhelds.

The study makes clear that low mobile price points are a major factor in the volume of downloads, and points out that the mobile market is still largely in addition to console downloads, rather than cannibalising that market, with 60 per cent of respondents saying that their spend on downloads for other platforms has not been affected by mobile purchases.

"Mobile gaming represents one of the fastest growing segments of the digital games market, and potential for future growth remains strong as more consumers are using smartphones for games of all types, including the increasingly popular mobile game apps," said NPD's Anita Frazer.

"It is important to keep in perspective that the full-game price points on mobile devices are generally lower than those for console and portables systems, so mobile's full game download unit share does not translate to a comparable level of consumer spend.

"While there is clearly some substitution for spending on traditional forms of gaming among 40 percent of consumers, the majority of mobile consumers indicate that this spending is incremental to their spend on console or portable games, which makes sense since the games and devices provide for different types of gaming occasions and experiences."

Three quarters of the study's 8,214 respondents also claimed that they still have a preference for physical media, given the choice, with most claiming that, all other things being equal, owning a 'real' copy is preferable.

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Dan Pearson

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