According to a new report from NPD Group called "Exploring Digital Gaming," around 16 percent of Americans use digital distribution exclusively, ignoring traditional disc-based games altogether.
The report is based on a survey of 6,000 people in the US ages 13 and up. Around 36 percent of respondents said that they played downloaded games on PC, consoles or handhelds such as Vita or 3DS. Of that group 16 percent said they only play downloadable games. Around 25 percent of the overall group said that preferred proffered digital downloads, while 30 percent said that they preferred physical discs. Those without a preference outnumbered everyone else at 45 percent.
“Most digital players, regardless of device, don’t plan their purchases,” said NPD analyst Liam Callahan. “They purchase simply when they find something they like. But primary console players do have a greater tendency to purchase at or before the time of release relative to PC players.
“As more consumers purchase the new consoles, we expect to see greater digital spending from digital console gamers as consumers indicated that purchasing these consoles will most likely increase their digital spending.”
The most popular platform to make digital purchases was the PC, according to MPD, with 90 percent of respondents indicating that proffered the format. Around 28 percent of that group said that downloaded games on consoles. Two-thirds of console users said that they downloaded titles multiple times a year, and 14 percent said that downloaded games on a monthly basis.