LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - People in homes where the annual income is less than $35,000 a year spend about 50 percent more time a week playing video games than those in homes with incomes above $74,000, according to a study released Tuesday.
The study from Jupiter Research, released at the start of a two-day games industry conference in Los Angeles, also found that overall, teenagers spend less time playing games than watching TV, going online or listening to the radio. However, game playing occupied more of their time than reading books and magazines, it said.
Video game hardware and software sales topped $10 billion in the United States alone in 2002, and the industry generally considers boys and young men between the ages of about six and 24 as its target audience.
But the study found relatively little difference among low-income and high-income teenagers when it came to what is known as the "hard-core" category, or those who buy more than six games per year.
"Because video games are cost-effective entertainment, consumption statistics skew toward low-income households for console penetration, time spent playing games, and number of titles purchased," the Jupiter report said.
Yet at the same time, the report found teenagers in general were most concerned with value, as one-third said the most important factor in purchasing a game console was the lowest price, with 25 percent seeing the ability for the console to also play DVDs or CDs as most important.
Only 8 percent of the teenagers surveyed said the ability for a console to play games online was an important factor in their decision.
"Connected consoles are a new concept and it's not one that is readily understood," Jay Horwitz, the report's author, told Reuters in a telephone interview.
The report also looked at differences between male and female gamers in terms of their preferences by gaming genre. While action and adventure games were most popular with boys, nearly half the girls surveyed favored "parlor" games.
Of the 12 genres examined, three were more popular with girls and boys: parlor games, simulation games and arcade titles. From the survey group, 21 percent of the girls said they do not play games at all, while only 2 percent of boys offered that response.
"Do boys like games more than girls? My assumption is no, they don't, and the market is underserving women," Horwitz said. "I don't fundamentally think that boys like games more than girls."
People who buy more than 6 games a year are hardcore? I've been hardcore all my life and I never knew it.
I've Been Hardcore
I've bought enough XBox games to be hardcore for another 2 years, w00t.
Well I'm just on the line of being hardcore.
Woo-hoo,Im Hardcore and I didnt even know it
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