According to Gamer Segmentation 2010, the most recent report from market research company NPD Group, the Extreme Gamers segment, which represents 4 percent of the total U.S. gaming population, spend 48.5 hours a week playing games.
Overall, U.S. gamers ages 2 and older spend 13 hours per week playing games, up from 12.3 hours in 2009.
The study, which provides a detailed look at the behaviors of gamers, including download purchases, micro-transactions, and prices consumers are willing to pay for digital downloads, contains three years of trended data as well as insight into consoles, smartphones, portable gaming platforms, portable digital music players, laptops, and personal desktops. Based on these behaviors, gamers are grouped into seven distinct segments: Extreme Gamers, Avid PC Gamers, Heavy Portable Gamers, Console Gamers, Online PC Gamers, Offline PC Gamers, and Secondary Gamers.
When looking at the number of hours gamers spend per week playing video games, hours spent playing both console and PC games showed a marked increase over last year's study, with console games increasing 9 percent and PC games increasing 6 percent. The number of hours gamers spent playing portable games saw a decline of 16 percent, the study found.
The average age of gamers increased slightly over last year from 31 years of age in the 2009 study to 32 years in this year?s study. Avid PC Gamers and Offline PC Gamers, comprising 11 percent and 8 percent of the gaming population, respectively, are the oldest segments with an average age for both of 42 years.
"With these kinds of shifts in the composition of the gaming consumer and changes in gaming behavior, it?s clear that the need to understand gamers and their purchase patterns remains critical information to those that develop, market and sell games," said Anita Frazier, industry analyst, The NPD Group.