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NPD: Children Becoming Gamers Younger

NPD: Children Becoming Gamers Younger

June 5, 2007 | By Jason Dobson

June 5, 2007 | By Jason Dobson
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More: Console/PC

It's becoming more and more common to see young children using electronic devices including game consoles, according to a new report issued by consumer and retail information company The NPD Group.

The report indicates that, on average, children begin using electronic devices at 6.7 years old, down swiftly from 8.1 years in 2005.

Portable game consoles were found to be the electronics that kids were most likely to have, with 39 percent of those surveyed owning one. Console hardware pulled a slightly lower adoption rate among children, at 29 percent.

The report, “Kids and Consumer Electronics Trends III,” found that televisions and desktop computers were the sources of the earliest exposer in children - starting at around 4 or 5 years old. Other technologies such as satellite radios and portable digital media players were most often first used by the much older 9 year-old set.

Many pieces of hardware, such as portable CD players (owned by 30% of kids) and TVs (owned by 28% of kids) were found to be used earlier in life. In fact, NPD noted that since the 2005 survey, “virtually all of the various electronic devices register a decline in average age that the initial use occurs.”

However, the report also found that, despite the decline in the average age of electronics consumer use, the average number of devices owned by kids decreased compared to 2006 and 2005, as did the number of households that own these devices.

"Kids are drawn to the latest and greatest digital devices just as their parents are," said Anita Frazier, industry analyst, The NPD Group. "They appear to have no fear of technology and adopt it easily and without fanfare, making these devices a part of their everyday lives."

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