According to an NPD Group report, 53 percent of US consumers have been to the movies in the last six months, but 63 percent have played a video game.
While NPD says video gaming still lags considerably behind music listening (a whopping 94 percent) it benefits from new play outlets, including gamers on social networks (10 percent) and playing downloadable games (5 percent - up 2 percent on last year).
What's that translate to in financial terms? About $38 (about £24) on average per gamer, says NPD. An April NPD report indicated consumers spend around $160 total per person, per month, the majority of which goes to TV (cable/satellite) and internet access. Still, you're talking nearly 25 percent, or a quarter of consumer monthly entertainment spending that's been snapped up by video gaming.
"As with video and music, sales of physical gaming products still account for the bulk of consumer spending on video games, but digital downloads and other delivery and gameplay formats are also rising in popularity," said NPD analyst Russ Crupnick.
- 1 in 3 gamers (31 percent) bought a console or handheld video game in the past year, up 7 percent on the year before.
- Among console/portable gamers: 31 percent played games on a website, 12 percent played games on a social-networking site, 19 percent played games bundled with their mobiles phones, and 11 percent purchased/downloaded a game to their mobile phone.
"Video games account for one third of the average monthly consumer spending in the US for core entertainment content, including music, video and games," said Anita Frazier, video games industry analyst for NPD. "While a portion of that share stems from the premium price of console games, we're also seeing an overall increase in the number of people participating in gaming year on year."
The report's results were gathered from an online study involving more than 11,000 respondents, and NPD says the data was tested to a "95 percent confidence level".