PC's were once the dominant gaming platform for children, but a new report reveals that mobile devices have taken over the top spot.
The Kids and Gaming 2015 report by the NPD Group revealed that mobile devices, specifically smartphones and tablets, are now the most popular platforms for kid gamers falling under the range of 2 years old to 17 years old.
The study found that 63 percent of children play their games through a mobile device. Only 45 percent of children play games on a desktop PC, which is a 22 percent decline since 2013. The decrease is most prominent for children with ages 2 years old to 5 years old.
Kid gamers on video game consoles also saw a decline, from 67 percent in 2013 to only 60 percent in the latest report.
NPD's report reveals the explosion of popularity for mobile devices and follows the trend seen in the languishing sales and demand for PC's, which was once the device mostly used by people to go online and play games. Consumers are now shifting towards using smartphones and tablets for this purpose.
"In the past, the computer was considered the entry point for gaming for most kids, but the game has changed now that mobile has moved into that position," said Liam Callahan, an analyst for the NPD Group, adding that the trend could be starting from parents who are likewise moving away from using PCs into mobile devices to finish tasks. This makes smartphones and tablets more accessible to children, leading to the kids being hooked on mobile gaming which is generally more intuitive and easier to play compared to games on the PC and gaming consoles.
Sales for gaming consoles are still strong, NPD's data reveals. However, the time that children spend on playing on consoles remain flat, as it is now sharing the time that kids spend on playing games with mobile devices. NPD's survey saw 41 percent of children stating that they spend more time on mobile device video games now compared to last year, with the average time spent on such per week at six hours.
Children are seemingly spending more on their games, as expenses on digital games have increased over the previous three months by $5, up to $13. Physical games, however, is still where kids spend most of their money with an average of $27. In addition, two out of every ten children said that they are now spending more on games and on in-app purchases compared to last year.