NPD: PCs still most used platform for online gaming

By on March 3, 2010, 11:41 AM
The average number of hours spent per week gaming online is up 10% since last year according to the results of a study released by the NPD Group today. The report titled "Online Gaming 2010" surveyed over 18 thousand people in the United States from January 4 - 19 who claimed to use at least one platform to play games

Slightly fewer actually people played video games online in 2009, compared to previous years, but those who did spent more time doing so -- an average of 8 hours per week compared to 7.3 in 2008. Of those gamers a massive 85% of people named the PC as their primary system for gaming online, while the Xbox 360 maintained its leadership for the third year in a row among non-PC systems with 48% of respondents using it to play online.

The PlayStation 3 and Wii both stand at about 30% online use, according to the study, which was quite a leap for Sony considering that in last year's report its console was trailing Nintendo's by 8 percentage points. The report doesn't cite statistics for mobile gaming, but it acknowledges the iPhone's growth and references social networks like Facebook as the hot new venue for online gaming.

NPD also found that 20% of games purchased by online gamers were downloaded, up from 19% in 2008. Lastly, while the PC was by far the most used platform for online gaming, when it comes to the highest average hours spent per week, the Xbox 360 takes tops with 7.3 hours versus the PC's 6.6 hours and the PS3's 5.8 hours. How about you? How much time do you think you spend gaming online and playing what?




User Comments: 20

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TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Be curious to see those PC percentages if you took WoW out of the equation.

I don't play MMORPG's any longer, but still hop online for an occasional FPS action with friends. I probably average 2 hours a day gaming, and out of those 14 hours weekly, 4 of those hours are online gaming. I don't own a console so it's all PC gaming.

Guest said:

average 2 hrs a day.

play cod mw2 online.

had ps3 for a month returned it, and got my self a computer.

pc gaming all the way. as i grew up playing on pc.

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I'm curious like you, TomSEA... Wouldn't mind seeing how the numbers stack up in MMO vs. multiplayer games... I'm guessing the MMO genre is the only thing that continually keeps the PC at the top.

Staff
Matthew Matthew, TechSpot Staff, said:

My gaming time has been cut to 0-3 hours a week -- all of which is on PC, split between shooter and strategy games.

Not only would it be interesting to see the divide between MMORPGs and other genres, but it would be cool to see how many individuals have purchased a title more than once to play with several characters simultaneously.

Relic Relic, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I'd have to say my personal gaming is around 16hrs depending on the game weekly for PC. Mainly RTS single player, though I do jump into shooters and RPG's every so often. I also have a 360 which I occasionally use for exclusive games and TPS's.

I used to play MMO's and WoW was one of them before I quit a little over a year ago. And I have to say I played that daily for several hours if not more. So I'd definitely agree that MMO's is a driving force for these numbers especially WoW.

Wagan8r Wagan8r said:

Lately I've been gaming offline more than online, but when I do, it's been COD:WAW. Nazi zombies ftw! I'd say that I average maybe 1-3 hours per day for both off and online gaming. That's all about to change now that I have Supreme Commander 2 and Battlefield Bad Company 2.

Clrabbit said:

Online gaming for me is PC only sense I don't have dial-up form my Dreamcast any more :p

0% of my online time goes to WoW

Really now days I only really play lan and multiplexer games tell FFXIV comes out, I'm out of the MMO market.

Beta starts in 9 days... fingers crossed for one of the few invites....

Richy2k9 said:

hello ...

i don't have enough time to play games any more, i just keep buying them & let them take dust ...

the little i've played were online on PS3, last week tried Warhawk demo for 2 hours, the week before tried BFBC2 demo for 3 hours & liked it, a few weeks before i went on Crash commando for several hours, don't remember how much & also on some offline games.

now i just repurchased Diablo II + LOD for my PC, will have to find time for them too & try online if it's still possible. (oh & can't wait for Diablo III)

online gaming is interesting, it's something rather new to me, lately been trying the different games online features (Burnout paradise / motorstorm II) but mostly demos (Lost Planet 2 & those mentioned above) & beta versions (M.A.G / MNR) ... i think it's so great being able to challenge other people, they are 'most of the time' of a higher level of intelligence than the AI, jk jk LOL!

this explains the figures & yes like some pointed out, i think MMO keeps PC on top!

cheers!

Recipe7 Recipe7 said:

"How about you? How much time do you think you spend gaming online and playing what?"

I was an avid gamer since the original Nintendo. I moved on to a Genesis, SNES, N64, PS1, PS2, and just recently, PS3. All the while, I have been on the PC since I was 7 years old with the Windows 3.1. I still remember the jigsaw game which was super boring, but still fun to play. I never imagined growing up that our videogame consoles would be eligible for internet/online play. I played countless hours of counterstrike and Everquest(25 days of playing on my character actually), much more than the mere 30-40 hours of time I spent playing on PSN.

With the growth of PCs, the advancement of graphics and constant purchasing of new hardware, online gaming on consoles will surpass PC gaming just because it is much more attainable. No need to upgrade your PC to join the rest of the world (not to mention the wide array of hardware on PCs which really make players feel as though the field may not be as leveled as it should be).

Badfinger said:

I'm an MMO player, but not WoW, gave that one up after first 3 months, never to return.

PCs have too much utility, consoles do not, PCs will always lead the gaming frontier in general.

Having said that I did buy a Wii recently to give us an easy exercising outlet, and it works, I am very sore!

KidChaos said:

I'm lucky if I get in 3 hrs on my PC; I also have a Wii but only play it with wife and kids but not online.

Orionlocke said:

I'm like recipe7, been an avid gamer since the original Nintendo, even Atari before that. Started PC gaming with a 25Mhz DX CPU, 85MB hard drive, and 1MB RAM computer!

I've been playing off line a lot recently (since Dragon Age Origins and Mass Effect 2 came out) but I usually get around 12 to 16 hours a week in, all late, late night after my wife and kid goes to bed. All my gaming has been PC for many years but I just got a Xbox 360 last week so it's split between the two now.

Before Mass Effect 2 and Dragon Age, spent those hours playing online with my PC, CoD 4 Modern Warefare and CoD Modern Warfare 2.

TorturedChaos, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I'm a World of Warcrack addict....although that's not where all my gaming times goes. Spend a lot of it on my new PS3, but nothing online.

I probably spend about 2-3hrs on weeknights playing games after work. Usually spend more time playing on weekends, depending on whats going on.

I'm really not surprised PC still holds the most time spend for online gaming.

gobbybobby said:

According to Xfire last 7 days I played 17 hours of games, and according to Steam 40 hours past 2 weeks. Also looking at this I own alot of digitally purcashed games, and the only games I have got @ retail so far this year are BFBC2 on the PC and MAG on the PS3. I play alot of games. I can't top recipe7s Hours! I am in the techspot Steam Group if U want to look at how my Hours Pan Out between games. (steam: gobbybobby)

Yoda8232 said:

Haven't got time to play that much games lately but a real hardcore PC gamer. Been hardcore FPS'in and RTS'in and even some RPG'in for years and years. You just can't customize a console to the level of a PC with ease, not to mention how much more powerful in raw power the PC is...

LGraves said:

All my friends are console gamers and I just feel so sorry for them!

Puiu Puiu said:

It is a lot easier to play online on PC's so that's why they are more popular. And for FPS games, PC's are the way to go. Consoles just aren't the same when trying to shoot someone (albeit they did improve a lot since the last generation). There are also a lot more online games for the PC than consoles.

theosephus said:

I don't think this study should be used on its own for the battle between console and PC online gaming, despite being a PC fan myself.

Using a PC is very personal; the monitor is up close and the interaction is more intimate. Consoles are usually more socially positioned, most often centered around the television. So one could argue that more things could interrupt an online gaming session while using a console.

There are too many differences in psychology, lifestyle and circumstance to go charging about claiming the throne for PCs, but i think this study shows that PCs have a lot more functionality, flexibility and accessibility for online games, although consoles are catching up with downloadable content.

rufio said:

I haven't gamed on my PC for a loooong time. I just don't have the money to continually upgrade my computer to play the newest games. That's probably one of the main reason I game on my cosoles.

Actually i'm just waiting for starcraft 2 and diablo 3... and when it does... goodbye social life!

Guest said:

I am doing some research on on-line gaming and wondered what the average player would spend per hour on-line. THanks!

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