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Tablets Are Cutting Out Console Gaming Time

By John Gaudiosi (gamerlive.tv) - Thu, Mar 14, 2013

The video game industry continues to go evolve, thanks to a wave of new tablets that are providing experiences closer to what console gamers are used to. Devices with Tegra 3 including the Nexus 7 and Microsoft Surface are closing the gap between PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 games and what’s possible on tablets.

Maritz Research conducted a Tablet Poll Re-contact Study, which utilized the custom research analysis program DecisionVue 360. The poll delved into the usage and demographics of today’s tablet buyers. Among all tablet buyers, 85% of whom are buying for an adult only, 12% say they are reducing use of a game console as a result of their tablet purchase. Another 12% say they are reducing use of a handheld gaming system. 

“This is just a floor of the impact that tablets are having on gaming as our study also finds that 15% of tablet buyers are buying a new tablet to upgrade from a previous model and of those, four in ten are being given to someone else in the household,” said Michael Allenson, senior strategic consulting director of the Technology/Telecom Research Group at Maritz Research. “These hand-me-downs are likely finding their way to kids, and even if they are not directly replacing game console use, they tend to be used for games and other entertainment and take time from kids that might otherwise be spent on a game console or handheld system. Our data can’t represent the effect that tablets may be having on younger children’s demand for gaming systems, as they are often getting access to tablets at a very young age.”

The survey found that, on average, tablet buyers report that they have an average of nearly 29 apps on their tablets. Of these, nearly 25% are gaming apps, by far the largest category of apps. 

“The plethora of free games and frequency of releases makes gaming a primary activity on tablets,” said Allenson. “For those with a gaming console at home, there is little doubt that many of them are being pulled both consciously and subconsciously away from their game consoles to some extent.”

While gaming was one of the top five apps on the iPad, KindleFire and Galaxy Tab devices, satisfaction in the "entertainment" category, which games are a part of, was surprisingly less than for business applications, showing there's room to improve the experience in both those categories. 

“Initially, entertainment-related activities were a primary reason to purchase a tablet, but our study reveals consumers want to use their devices for a broad range of activities,” said Allenson. “Many consumers would like tablets to become more of a primary business computing tool. The new generation of tablets with improved mobility, keyboards and power for intensive applications will likely address this demand and be a catalyst for even higher utility.”


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