NPD has released a few statistics highlighting the habits
of "extreme gamers" – you know, folks like Julien Barreaux
. The research firm found that extreme gamers represent 4% of the total US gaming population and spend 48.5 hours per week playing video games. On average, US gamers aged two and older play games for 13 hours per week – up from 12.3 hours last year.
That increase is across the board, with console games played 9% more than 2009, and PC game activity increasing 6%. However, the report suggests that the number of hours gamers invested in portable games dropped 16%. We're not sure about that given the bolstering
smartphone gaming market, and it's not made entirely clear whether phones, portable music players and similar devices were included in that figure.
The study lumps gamers into seven "distinct" groups: Extreme Gamers, Avid PC Gamers, Heavy Portable Gamers, Console Gamers, Online PC Gamers, Offline PC Gamers, and Secondary Gamers. The average age of gamers increased slightly from 31 to 32, while Avid PC Gamers and Offline PC Gamers (11% and 8% of the gaming population) are the oldest segments, with players averaging 42 years old.