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?