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The online study by PlaySpan and Magid reveals some interesting data on consoles, mobile and free-to-play. The research indicates that with the rise of free-to-play games and cheap apps people may be giving less attention to consoles. This process sis accelerated by the rapid mobile adoption, so more and more gamers in the US view the smartphone as their preferred platform of choice.

Conducted back in December, the online survey revealed that roughly 80 % of all mobile consumers in the US are now gamers, and the research firm points the growth in the gaming population to the upsurge in smartphone ownership. 35 % of total respondents said consoles were their top gaming platform, while almost the same amount of respondents – 34 % said that mobile was their preferred platform to game on. Tablets follow the two with a fair 11 % and computers at 6 %, while dedicated handhelds like the 3DS or PS Vita barely got any attention at 3 %.

The interesting factor to focus on is the fender of respondents- with smartphones almost catching up, consoles still are far and away the top platform for men. Here’re the stats according to gender -  49 % of men said they favor consoles, compared to 18 % of women, while 45 % of women prefer smartphones compared to 25 % of men.

The study found out that 110 million Americans prefer free-to-play than pay-to-play, based on the response of 77 % of gamers who are spending more time with free-to-play. The gender differences are notable here as well, especially in terms of how gamers spend money.

In difference with real-life situations, where women usually are considered to be waste-spenders, the study found men were nearly three times more likely than women to cite pay-to-play or subscription based games as their favorite, while in case of free-to-play titles, men were three times more likely than women to make in-game purchases, averaging $13.38 and $4.84 per month, respectively. For publishers and developers looking to optimize their games, the most lucrative demographic appears to be the 18-24 age group where men are ready to pay an average of $30.59 a month on in-game purchases.

The study does make it clear that the shift in free-to-play games is becoming the norm in the gaming industry and this survey reinforces that trend, while smartphones are fairly accused of killing the handled gaming. What are your thoughts? Do not hesitate to share your opinion in the comments below.