ComScore's data by itself suggests that gamers are seeking cheap, if not free, online games in greater numbers. Compared to other metrics, does it mean movement away from consoles?

VentureBeat reports the figures, which show online gaming posting a 22 percent year-over-year boost in players from May 2008 to May 2009. Coincidentally, the number fits with a 23 percent slide in console game revenues (attributed to NPD), and the 20 percent reduction in console game sales some analysts expect for the second quarter of this year.

Yahoo! Games and EA Online continue to be the heavyweights in this space, with more than 19 and 17 million unique visitors, respectively. EA's total is up 34 percent from a year ago. But large brands like Disney Games and MSN Games also saw declines in unique visits. ComScore's director for gaming also notes that online games are growing at 10 times the rate of the overall U.S. Internet population. There's a handy chart at the link.

As Console Games Slide, Online Games Increase 22 Percent Compared to a Year Ago [VentureBeat via VG247]