PC No Longer Top Gaming Platform for Kids, New Report Finds

24 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Kids abandon PC gaming for mobile devices.

In news that likely surprises very few teachers or parents — or anyone who’s visited a restaurant in the past two years — mobile devices are now the devices most used by kids ages 2 to 17 who play video games, with 63 percent of respondents playing them. The NPD Group has published a report showing that more 2- to 17-year-olds in the US are playing games on phones and tablets (63 percent) than on consoles (60 percent). This makes it the gaming platform of choice for children and teens, a spot previously reserved for home computers — and part of the reason why the mobile market is worth an estimated $30 billion this year, according to the researchers at Newzoo. “This shift has occurred as now only 45 percent of kids ages 2-17 are gaming on a home computer, down 22 percentage points since 2013,” NPD Group notes. “This decline is seen among all of the kids’ age groups, but is most pronounced among those ages 2 through 5.” It makes sense that younger children are moving from computers to mobile.

These kids spend an average of six hours each week playing. (Survey respondents all played at least one type of video game.) However, this doesn’t mean that more kids are playing on them than two years ago. The analysts don’t have a firm explanation for the shift, but they believe that this most likely reflects the parents’ own shift away from PCs and toward mobile gear. While computers were once considered the entry point for gaming, Callahan said, this is no longer the case. “This may be related to a change in the behavior of parents that are likely utilizing mobile devices for tasks that were once reserved for computers.” We’d add that mobile tech has advantages for kids tired of fighting for time on the family computer or TV — children can play Minecraft while the grown-ups check out Facebook and Netflix, and they’re not stuck playing at home.

While it’s doubtful that consoles and PCs will fall completely out of favor among the younger crowd, they don’t make as much sense as they did a few years ago. You’ll get to keep your current user name (as long as it doesn’t contain invalid characters, in which case you’ll have to go through a few extra steps to make the transfer), and all your old comments will eventually (not immediately) migrate with you.

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