CEA’s ‘Future of Gaming’ Report Details Consumer Game Buying Habits and Preferences

A new report from Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) suggests that Portable connected devices are becoming primary gaming devices in U.S. homes, while wholesale revenue for home video game consoles will increase 85 percent in 2014. The study, "The Future of Gaming," gauges consumer behaviors regarding ownership, device use, gamer segments, video game attachment rates, purchase intent and more.

Console ownership among online U.S. consumers is highest for the Nintendo Wii (35 percent), Microsoft Xbox 360 (29 percent) and Sony PlayStation 3 (24 percent), according to the report. The Sony PlayStation 4 and Microsoft Xbox One are now owned by 11 percent and eight percent, respectively, of online consumers. The report also find that more than half of gamers (54 percent) learn the most about games from friends, family and co-workers. A third of online consumers say they pay attention to retailer websites (33 percent), TV commercials (31 percent) and gaming news websites (30 percent).

Consumers also prefer to shop for video games primarily in brick-and-mortar locations: mass merchants (36 percent), general electronics stores (32 percent) and specialty electronics stores (32 percent). A third (31 percent) of consumers also shop for video games online.

Portable connected devices are now primary gaming devices for many consumers, according to CEA’s 16th Annual CE Ownership and Market Potential Study. Smartphone and tablet ownership rates (64 and 45 percent, respectively) are at their highest rates in the history of home gaming. One in ten gamers say their primary gaming device is a smartphone (12 percent) or tablet (nine percent), on the same level as home consoles such as the Xbox 360 (16 percent), PlayStation 3 (12 percent) and Wii (10 percent).

Consumers who indicated that their primary gaming device is a smartphone, used an Android- (51 percent), iOS- (41 percent) and Windows Phone-based device (six percent).

Game buying choices often come down to the quality of games (89 percent) on the system or device, price (79 percent), ease-of-use (77 percent), price of system (76 percent) and graphics (75 percent), according to CEA.

The attachment rates are highest for the Sony PSP, followed by PCs and the Xbox 360, according to the report. The newest consoles, Xbox One and PlayStation 4, are also showing strong attachment rates, especially with digital games" the PS4 digital download attachment rate is 57 percent of physical discs (compared to 42 percent for PlayStation 3) and for Xbox One it is 62 percent (compared to 37 percent for Xbox 360).

More than half of gamers (55 percent) also indicated that they have purchased at least one other add-on product to improve the gameplay on their primary device. The most common purchases include a television (35 percent) and rechargeable batteries (13 percent).

You can learn more about the report here.

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