Japanese kids prefer the NES to the PSP


How many video games machines are there at your home? graph of japanese statisticsI haven’t looked at video games for a while, so I was glad to find this survey from goo Research on video game usage by children. Video games cover handhelds, TV-connected games and even PC-based gaming.


Between the 25th of June and 13th of July 2007 1,165 elementary school children (or people claiming to be children) responded to a public questionnaire available on the Kids goo web site. The sample was 60.0% girls, 3.4% in first year of elementary school (ages six or seven), 5.0% in second year, 9.9% in third year, 20.3% in forth year, 26.9% in fifth year, and 34.6% in sixth year (ages eleven or twelve). Note that since this is a public internet-based survey there will definite sampling bias.

There’s so much great data in this survey! Q4SQ is perhaps my favourite; based on my casual observations, not surprisingly the DS totally dominates everything else. However, the other new portable, the PSP, is played less than the ancient Famicon and Super Famicon. I’m surprised that these two machines did so well; is this due to parents being cheap, to them having less worries about graphic violence in the older titles, not wanting to spoil the kids on photo-realism, or do kids really choose themselves to play these machines?

Note that this survey was conducted before the new PSP Slim sold quarter of a million units in one week.

Research results

Q1: Do you play video games? (Sample size=1,165)

No (to Q10)8.7%
Used to, but not now (to Q10)11.3%

Q2: Where do you play video games? (Sample size=932, multiple answer)

At home94.9%
At friends’ homes31.2%
At game arcade, shop games corner14.1%
At child care facility, library, etc2.6%

Q3: How many video games machines are there at your home? (Sample size=932)

Five or more34.4%

Note that this will include siblings and parents’ machines, if applicable. Whether or not general purpose computers with games software is included is not stated.

Q4: What kinds of video games do you often play? (Sample size=932, multiple answer)

Portable games (PSP, Nintendo DS, etc) (to SQ)68.8%
PC-based single-player games67.8%
Television-connected console games (to SQ)47.5%
Online games22.5%
Mobile phone games16.4%
Game arcade or shop game corner10.8%

Q4SQ: What kinds of video games machines do you often play on? (Sample size=764, console and portable gamers, multiple answer)

Nintendo DS82.2%
Nintendo Gameboy Advance39.8%
Sony PlayStation 1, 2 or 337.4%
Nintendo Wii35.3%
Nintendo Gamecube31.4%
Nintendo Gameboy, Gameboy Micro19.8%
Nintendo 6415.2%
Nintendo Super Famicon (SNES)15.1%
Nintendo Famicon (NES)11.9%
Sony PlayStation Portable10.5%
Microsoft Xbox5.8%
Sega Saturn5.1%
Sega Dreamcast4.8%

Q5: What kinds of video games do you like? (Sample size=932, multiple answer)

Character nurturing game65.6%54.8%72.8%
Adventure, war, other role playing game64.1%71.9%58.8%
Fighting, action game38.4%51.3%29.8%
Sports game37.0%41.2%34.2%
Brain training game33.1%25.9%37.8%
Card, puzzle game32.2%23.5%38.0%
Quiz game25.4%19.5%29.4%
Drill, other learning game18.7%16.0%20.4%
None in particular2.4%1.9%2.7%

Q6: Do you have any rules at home regarding video game playing? (Sample size=932, multiple answer)

Length of play45.9%
Situation for being allowed to play, such as after finishing homework30.7%
Time of play19.5%
Place of play9.6%
Kind of game5.7%
No particular rules34.6%

Other rules included having to take turns with friends and siblings, letting other siblings have priority, having to ask permission each time, not being allowed to take a portable to the park, having parents vet PC games before play, not being allowed to buy whatever title one want, and only being allowed to play on specific days.

Q7: How long do you play video games on school days? (Sample size=932)

Up to 30 minutes33.1%25.1%38.4%
Thirty minutes to one hour29.2%25.7%31.5%
One to two hours22.3%26.5%19.5%
Two to three hours6.7%9.4%4.8%
More than three hours8.8%13.4%5.7%

Q8: How long do you play video games on non-school days? (Sample size=932)

Up to 30 minutes16.5%15.0%17.6%
Thirty minutes to one hour24.9%19.3%28.7%
One to two hours25.5%23.3%27.1%
Two to three hours13.1%12.6%13.4%
More than three hours20.0%30.0%13.3%

Q9: Who do you most often play video games with at home? (Sample size=884, those who play games at home)

By myself70.3%
With friends9.1%
With brothers, sisters16.4%
With parents, grandparents2.8%

This finishes the questions for video game players.

Q10: Why do you not play video games? (Sample size=223, not games players, multiple answer)

Don’t have time for games36.5%
Not interested in games27.0%
Forbidden by parents20.2%
Don’t own any games15.5%

Other answers include that it’s bad for the eyes, have a machine, used to play but got bored or just didn’t get into it, because there’s so much to choose from one doesn’t know what’s best, and too tired after returning home from school to play.

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