Irresistible Wii helps recruit female gamers

San Francisco (CA) – The irresistible Wii has reportedly helped increase the number of female console gamers in 2009.

“Females increased by five percentage points among console gamers, from 23 percent in 2008 to 28 percent in 2009,” the NPD Group explained in a statement. “Since the rise in console usage among Console Gamers can be mainly attributed to the Wii, which increased in usage by 19 percentage points from last year, this underscores the finding that more females are using console systems, especially the Wii.”

According to NPD industry analyst Anita Frazier, the year was a
“transformative” one in terms of “defining the audience for gaming.”

“Even with the increased competition from mobile and social network gaming, the console gamer segment added the most new participants to its ranks in the last year,” said Frazier.

The report – titled Gamer Segmentation 2009 – also noted that “extreme gamers” played an average of 39 hours a week, or 10 hours more than avid PC Gamers. In addition, extreme gamers purchased more than six times the number of games compared to any other segment.

Meanwhile, gamers spent 38 percent of their time playing online titles, while 16 percent of games purchased in Q4 2008 were downloaded digitally. However, the average number of gamers willing to pay for all types of micro-transactions has decreased.

“This could be caused by the increased availability of free gaming, putting a downward price pressure on the industry,” added Frazier.