A new report by NPD Group claims 63 percent of the US population plays video games:
The sample included 5,039 members of the NPD Group's online consumer panel, and the majority of the respondents said that games were a good way to alleviate stress and unwind. Impressive for the gaming industry was that the stress-relieving aspect of the hobby was mostly seen in older gamers ranging from 15 to 65 years of age.
"The new type of game experiences brought to the market over the past several years are succeeding in reaching a broader audience. The challenge for the industry is that consumers are a fickle group, and with the great variety of options pulling at their limited free time, they're going to be easily distracted unless something really compels them to stay with gaming," said NPD analyst Anita Frazier in a statement. "To reach these less-involved consumers, the industry has to work even harder, but doing so can produce great rewards."
Nintendo is one company that has realized, as is evidenced in the disruptive influence of the Wii and DS, two systems that went after a wider, more casual audience with great financial rewards.