The latest report from NPD Group puts core gamers under the microscope, revealing that roughly 37.5 million people are considered core gamers despite the fact that nearly half play games on a core gaming device. While one may be forgiven to think that the majority of core gamers are made up of a younger demographic, the reality is that the mean age of a core gamer is 30 years old.

Reflecting recent retail sales patterns, 10 percent more core gamers said their spending has decreased now compared to the same time a year ago versus those that are now spending more. As a whole, 88 percent of core gamers said they have purchased new physical games while 78 percent admitted to buying used physical games. 70 percent of respondents in the category said they buy full versions of digital games.

Liam Callahan from NPD Group said digital purchasing among core gamers still has plenty of room to grow. The industry analyst said that while many core gamers indicate they are purchasing full games and digital add-on content frequently, there are still those that have never purchased any type of digital content.

To be classified as a core gamer, respondents had to currently play action, adventure, fighting, flight, massively multi-player, racing, real time strategy, role-playing, shooter or sport games on a PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC or a Mac and spend at least five hours or more per week gaming on any of these qualified devices.