The NPD Group—the same folks who make news every month by reporting video game sales numbers—have been counting the amount of people who play games, too. They have news. Depending on how you identify and what you care about, you may want to have a seat.
Approximately 12 million fewer people are playing video games in 2012. The research firm says that the total number of current estimated gamers is 211.5 million, a 5% drop when compared to 2011. NPD's study, based on 8,488 responses to an online survey, found that mobile gamers segment are outstripping core gamers in terms of numbers. But core gamers spend more money, which makes them "vital to the future of the industry." (When contacted by Kotaku, NPD said that respondents could only belong to one group.)
Game purchasers reported spending an average of $48 on physical games and $16 on digital games-PC/console/portable in the past three months. Core Gamers spent $65 on physical games over the same time period; this is more than any other gamer segment.
You read get more details from the NPD survey here.