ESA found that PCs were the most popular game-playing devices, used in 62% of gamer households. Dedicated game consoles still landed in second, at 56%. Smartphones grabbed a smaller share, though still impressive, at 35%.
Notably, for the first time last year, digital took control of the video game market. Citing data from The NPD Group, ESA reported that digital game sales (including digital add-on content, digital full games, mobile apps, social networking gaming and subscriptions) accounted for 52% of US video game sales in 2014, up from 47% in 2013. Physical formats grabbed the remaining 48%.
Smartphones may have been used less than PCs and consoles among gaming households in the ESA study, but among the population as a whole, mobile is far more popular. eMarketer estimates that this year, 41.8% of US consumers will play games on smartphones at least once per month. Online casual gamers—internet users of any age who play games via web browser at least monthly on a desktop or laptop computer—will have slightly lower penetration, at 32.9% of the population. Smartphones will widen the gap through 2019, when respective penetration rates will come in at 55.7% and 36.0%. Meanwhile, online console gamers will represent a far smaller share of the population, at 15.3% this year and 17.0% in 2019. Read the rest at eMarketer.