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Nielsen survey of gaming time shows consoles overtaking PC again

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The newest generation of consoles account for 4 percent of Americans' gaming time according to research from the ratings firm Nielsen, with time spent on PC games dipping below consoles overall again.

Meanwhile, mobile gaming, whether on tablets or smartphones, showed the most growth among users ages 13 or older, Nielsen found. Mobile gaming accounts for more than 6 hours a week of gaming time, a 12 percent increase from the 5.6 hours per week calculated by the same survey in 2012.

Among all gaming segments, the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Wii accounted for the greatest percentage of playing time at 34 percent. PC gaming accounted for 33 percent of gamers' time. Both figures declined from the 2012 survey, further evidence of mobile gaming's rise and appeal to all gamers.

In fact, the percentage of console gamers who say they also game on mobiles and tablets went up from 46 percent to 50 percent.

PC had been the leader in the share of overall gaming time in the previous survey — 39 percent to consoles' 37 percent in 2012. The addition of three new consoles in 2013 may have helped consoles, but in 2011 consoles also led PC with on seventh-generation hardware only, 41 to 38 percent.

Overall, time spent playing video games on any platform has risen, from 5.6 hours in 2012 to 6.3 hours in the latest survey. Almost 2 out of 3 Americans, or 64 percent, play video games on some device, though that figure has held steady the past four years.

The Nielsen data was based on a survey of more than 2,000 consumers in the U.S. The survey was taken in late 2013 and early this year.

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