‘Tis the Season to Go Gaming

A report by PC Data has found that 35 percent of home Internet users plan to purchase console or PC games during the 2000 holiday season, and that PC and console gaming is no longer a male-dominated domain.

A majority (69 percent) of those planning to purchase games during the holiday season plan to buy console games. An estimated 60 percent of US households own a PC and one in three owns a game console, according to PC Data’s study “Spotlight on Games: Categories and Hardware.”

“The Christmas holiday is huge for the online and offline gaming industry. Consumers have already spent over $3.4 billion at retail alone for games,” said Sean Wargo, Internet analyst for PC Data. “By year end, these figures could double, making it a $7 billion industry. While the report shows that PCs are the platform of choice for gamers, console games will be the clear winners in terms of sales for the year and holiday season.”

The study also found that while men make up 55 percent of overall gamers, females for the first time comprise a majority of online gamers at 50.4 percent. Women typically favor online gambling, card games, and online quiz and trivia games.

Men and women prefer different types of online and offline games. Males prefer war and sports-themed games. Men are also three times as likely as female gamers to participate in first-person shooter games (38 percent vs. 12 percent), real-time/turn-based strategy games (33 percent vs. 11 percent), and sports games (30 percent vs. 10 percent). In contrast, female gamers prefer board/card games (78 percent vs. 51 percent), gambling themes (36 percent vs. 26 percent), and quiz/puzzle/trivia contests (55 percent vs. 25 percent).

Solitaire, Free Cell, and similar bundled games are the most frequently played of all online and offline games. The top PC game categories are strategy real-time/turn-based (68 percent), world building (67 percent), and flight simulation genres (68 percent). Console users prefer the fighting (72 percent), sports (60 percent), and driving simulation categories (54 percent).

More than 41.1 percent of gamers spend between one and five hours per week playing games. Twenty-four percent play games fewer than an hour per week and the remaining 35 percent play more than five hours per week.

Those looking to buy console games as gifts, should like at what the receivers rent. Thirty percent of all gamers have rented a game in the past year, and 70 percent do so to try it out before buying. Of the 35 percent of respondents who plan to purchase a game during the holiday season, one in three plans to buy an adventure game. Pokemon, Zelda, and Final Fantasy were listed as the top video game choices, and The Sims, Baldur’s Gate, and SimCity were the top PC preferences.

Graphic quality was rated as the primary criterion when purchasing a console game (59 percent). The list of available titles is also important to a large segment of buyers (39 percent). The ability to play against other players on the Internet was not a factor in the choice of console.

The study was conducted among a sample of 3,507 home Internet users, including both gamers and non-gamers, selected from a panel of 120,000 US home Internet users during Nov. 2 to 9. Margin of error on this data is +/- 1.7 percent.

Top Selling Console Games
Week Ending 12/2/00
Rank Title Publisher Format
1. Pokemon Gold Nintendo Game Boy Color
2. Pokemon Silver Nintendo Game Boy Color
3. WWF Smackdown 2 THQ Inc. Playstation
4. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 Activision Playstation
5. Final Fantasy IX SquareEA Playstation
6. Driver 2 Infogrames Playstation
7. Donkey Kong Country Nintendo Game Boy Color
8. Legend of Zelda:
Majora’s Mask
Nintendo Nintendo 64
9. WWF No Mercy THQ Inc. Nintendo 64
10. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 Activision Game Boy Color
Source: PC Data

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