Game On! IDC Survey Reveals 60% of Gaming Households Show High Interest in Online Gaming

FRAMINGHAM, MA – AUGUST 21, 2001 – The U.S. videogame industry is poised for several years of strong growth, as a number of industry heavyweights continue to invest in this expanding market. According to IDC’s recently completed Videogame Consumer Survey report, from Sony’s release of the PS2 almost a year ago to Microsoft and Nintendo’s pending release of 128-bit consoles, the major players are preparing to grab their piece of what will be a $21.1 billion market by 2003.


Gamers are becoming increasingly interested in using their next-generation videogame consoles for online gaming. According to IDC’s survey, 60% of gaming households showed high interest levels in online gaming. That number increased to 65% among PS2 households. Additionally, the ability to download games from the Internet was of high interest among 76% of respondents.

"The availability and adoption of broadband in U.S. households is definitely influencing online gaming,"said Schelley Olhava, IDC senior analyst, Consumer Devices and Gaming research. "Broadband households have much higher interest levels in online gaming activities and are prime targets for an array of gaming options and services." Although only 6.5% of videogame households have broadband access, that penetration will continue to grow, which bodes well for next-generation consoles that are basing online gaming efforts on broadband communication.

The survey also revealed a changing face of the videogame user. Although young men remain the majority of gamers, young women are also working gaming time into their entertainment schedules. According to the survey results, a relatively high proportion of female teenagers are primary players on key platforms such as Sony’s PS2 (9.1%) and the Sega Dreamcast (11.4%). Unlike their male counterparts that enjoy the excitement of the latest football release or video invasions from outer space, the more subdued female gamer prefers classic arcade and city/business simulation games.

Additional Findings

The gamer purchases 1.4 new games per month

About one third of gamers read gaming magazines (the most popular magazine cited was GamePro)

Over 35% of gamers purchased at least one peripheral over the past six months

Advertising outweighs the influence of word-of-mouth

About the Survey

This Videogame Consumer Survey report was based on interviews with 350 primary gamers.

For more information on IDC’s report Trends Today, Insights for Tomorrow, IDC’s 2001 Videogame Survey (W25166), contact 508-988-7988 or email

About IDC

IDC delivers dependable, high-impact insights and advice on the future of ebusiness, the Internet, and technology to help organizations make sound business decisions. IDC forecasts worldwide markets and trends and analyzes business strategies, technologies, and vendors, using a combination of rigorous primary research and in-depth competitive analysis. IDC provides global research with local content through more than 700 analysts in 43 countries worldwide. IDC's customers comprise the world's leading IT suppliers, IT organizations, ebusiness companies, and the financial community. Additional information can be found at

IDC is a division of IDG, the world's leading IT media, research and exposition company.


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