Online Gaming Jumps in 2009

Although PC online gaming has dipped slightly, a recent survey by the NPD Group shows that online gaming as a whole has increased from 19 to 25 percent this year.

The console leader for online gaming is, not surprisingly, the Xbox 360 which dominates the survey with 50 percent. I was more than a little surprised to see that the survey shows that Nintendo's Wii, and not the Playstation 3, is in second place with an amazing 29 percent. The PS3 rounds out the group in third place.

Looking at the demographics, online gamers ages 13 to 17 increased from 17 percent in 2008 to 22 percent in 2009, while the percent of 18 to 34 year olds, as well as those 35 to 54, decreased slightly.

"Online gaming is enjoyed by a diverse group of players," said Anita Frazier, industry analyst, The NPD Group. "The sheer variety of content and ease of access makes online gaming attractive to a much larger demographic than what we typically see in retail."

Finally, the survey shows that Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 owners are downloading more content than owners of other systems. But, overall downloading has slowed compared to last year.

It is important to keep in mind NPD Group's methodology when looking over these numbers. The report is based on online survey responses from more than 20,000 members of NPD's online consumer panel ages 2 and older (respondents age 2-12 were captured via surrogate reporting).

The survey data was then weighted to represent the U.S. population of individuals ages 2 and older. Fieldwork was conducted from January 6–26, 2009.