For the past nine years, Nielsen has extensively charted the development of gaming both as a hobby and a vibrant industry. While the larger focus tends to be placed on PC and console platforms, these reports increasingly prove that mobile gaming is a significant force that cannot be underestimated.
The latest Nielsen Games 360 Report was generated using consumer online surveys during Q1 2018 in the United States. Over 2,000 interviews were conducted with teens and adults from the general population, split between 50% male and female samples. The raw data was then weighted to ensure a representation of the American general population based on census data.
What did they learn? To start, the gaming population is still growing. 66% of the US population aged 13 consider themselves gamers, an overall increase from 58% in 2013.
Of these respondents, 30% prefer mobile devices – either smartphones or tablets – as their primary gaming platform.
While the majority of respondents in these surveys play primarily on consoles, the study revealed significant overlap with mobile audiences. Nielsen found that 60% of console gamers also spend time playing on a mobile device.
Overall, Nielsen determined that respondents spent roughly 29% of their leisure hours playing on a mobile device. Of these, Android smartphone platforms were the most popular at 11%, followed closely by the iPhone at 8%. Tablets were a collective 8% between Android, iOS, and other platforms.
As the gaming population continues to grow, Nielsen also considered which technological developments will be worth following closely. On the mobile front, Augmented Reality games like Pokemon Go and Harry Potter: Wizards Unite are generating buzz among players. Virtual Reality headsets are also worth following, since many are affordable in price and compatible with smartphones. 64% of the gaming population are familiar with AR and VR devices, compared to 51% of the general population.
What’s clear is that mobile gaming remains a vibrant and exciting field – one which includes casual players and lifelong gamers alike. For the full report, visit the Nielsen website.