Platform preferences among the under-18 demographic are almost evenly split between mobile on one side and console and computer on the other, the NPD Group has found.
In a recently filed report, drawn from a study of 3,842 minors between two and 17 years old, the NPD concluded that while desktop, laptop and console games remained the "top device types" for game play, "almost as many" minors are going to mobile for their games. The NPC reports that mobile play among children in the 12-17 bracket has risen to an average of 7 hours a week in the last year, versus an average of 5 hours a week in 2011.
The report adds that minors are now also adopting mobile devices at an earlier age than in prior studies. Presently, the average age of mobile game adoption is eight (versus nine in the 2011 study). The NPD Group attributes this to the growing availability of low-cost hardware.
"Kids are engaged with mobile devices as less expensive tablets and an increasing amount of hand-me-down phones create greater accessibility to these platforms than before," NPD Group analyst, Liam Callahan, said in a statement. "The question becomes whether this mobile usage will continue to grow for two to 17 year olds, and if usage will become more prevalent than gaming on consoles and computers as time progresses."
"More importantly, we need to understand how these forms of gaming provide different types of experiences for young gamers," Callahan added.
Top image source: Jason Lee.