Gaming in Japan

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Nintendo DS ownership percentage by age and sex graphinfoPLANT recently released the results of a survey they conducted into game machines. They conducted their research by means of a public questionnaire available through the iMode menu system for a week at the end of April. 5,924 people completed the survey, with 62.5% female.

Note the figures suggesting that the Nintendo DS is significantly more popular with the older generation. Surely this must be related to the current boom in brain training in Japan, in particular the massively popular series for the DS, a set of titles I dearly want to buy, along with the DS itself (and also a kanji dictionary), if I ever manage to earn any money from this blog!

Q1: On what kind of machine do you usually play games? (Sample size 5,924, multiple answer)

 AllMale
N=2,222
Female
N=3,702
Home games machine (PS2, Xbox, etc)52.3%62.2%46.4%
Portable games machine (DS, PSP, etc)29.9%26.3%32.1%
Mobile phone70.9%66.4%73.6%
Other9.0%10.5%8.1%
Don’t play games9.1%8.2%9.7%

Looking at the age breakdown, consoles were most popular with the younger set; four in five teenage boys, for instance played with them, versus less than one in five for over 50 year old women. Portables and mobiles showed a similar trend, but less marked. For the “Others” category, for women it increased slightly with age; I presume this includes PC gaming. Less than 4% of teenagers of either sex did not play games, whereas 20% of men and 25% of women over 50 years old were non-gamers.

Q2: Do you have a portable games machine? (Sample size=5,924)

 AllMale
N=2,222
Female
N=3,702
Yes (to SQ)55.5%51.5%57.8%
No44.5%48.5%42.2%

Note the rather surprising (to me) statistic that women are more likely to own a portable machine than men. This trend can be seen across all the age groups.

Q2SQ: Please select all the portable games machines you own. (Sample size=3,285, multiple answer)

 AllMale
N=1,145
Female
N=2,140
PSP22.4%26.5%20.3%
Nintendo DS32.0%29.6%33.3%
Nintendo DS Lite5.8%6.6%5.4%
Gameboy43.2%39.0%45.5%
Gameboy Advance43.8%44.1%43.6%
Gameboy Micro3.6%3.8%3.4%
Wonder Swan8.4%9.5%7.8%
Other23.2%23.8%22.9%

The Gameboy or Gameboy Advance was the top machine for all ages, but the most fascinating figures are when you look at the age and sex distributions. For the PSP, for males the figures started at 28.1% for teenagers, dropping down 23.1% for the over fifties, but for females, only 13.0% of teenagers had one, but over double, 28.9%, of those in their forties owned one. For the DS, for both men and women, just around a quarter of those in their teens and twenties had one, but 46.2% of men over fifty and a majority, 52.4%, of women over fifty owned a DS. In addition, although the recently released DS Lite was owned by only 6% of the overall sample, no teenagers but almost one in five of women over fifty owned one! Similarly, the Gameboy, Gameboy Micro and even the Wonder Swan seems to have captured a significant share of the granny market.

Q3: Where do you usually play on your portable machine? (Sample size=3,285, multiple answer)

 AllMale
N=1,145
Female
N=2,140
In my room71.2%70.0%71.9%
In another room at home39.7%33.8%42.9%
Work or school12.2%16.2%10.0%
Railway station or bus stop9.1%7.9%9.8%
Riding train, bus, car, etc33.4%36.4%31.8%
On the street, in shops9.1%10.9%8.1%
Other8.2%8.8%7.9%

There are no interesting trends to report from looking at the age breakdown.

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