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NPD report: America's gamer population is shrinking, mobile overtakes consoles

Jef Reahard

Is the video game industry finally returning to earth after years of sustained growth? Possibly, although a new market research report that suggests a shrinking gamer population comes with some rather significant caveats.

First off, the report by the NPD Group claims that 211.5 million people are playing video games in the U.S. this year, which is approximately two-thirds of the country's total population. That number is 12 million less than in 2011, though (a five percent drop).

Console gamers, light PC gamers, avid PC gamers, and family/kid gamers saw the biggest drop, but the downloadable/online and mobile gamer segments experienced substantial growth. According to NPD, mobile gamers now constitute the largest market share, edging out core console gamers at 22 percent of the total.

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