Survey: Japanese gaming less often

Over 40 percent of polled consumers say they are playing fewer games than the year before, thanks to increased Internet and mobile phone use.


Japanese marketing research firm Nikkei Research recently conducted a cross-media survey, targeting Japanese Internet users, on their media usage habits. The survey sampled 1,176 Internet users between the ages of 10 and 65. Those who participated were asked whether the time they spend with eight forms of mass media has declined or increased over the last year. These media were: TV, newspapers, magazines, free papers, radio, Internet, mobile phones (not including voice calls and e-mail) and gaming devices.

The Internet made the greatest gains according to the survey, with 42.4 percent of the respondents saying they've been spending more time on the Web this year. An almost equal amount--42.6 percent--said they were spending less time playing games, particularly in the 10-to-20 age group. The drop comes despite the surging popularity of the Nintendo DS and its brain-training games in Japan.

Magazines, TV, and radio also saw declining timeshare in 20 percent or more of the respondents. Furthermore, it was found that the respondents whose Internet use was up tended to use other media less. This led Nikkei Research to conclude that time spent surfing the Web is eating into time that would otherwise be spent with other forms of media, including games.

In particular, those who said they were gaming less tended to be spending more time with their mobile phones. Nikkei Research says this can be attributed to the wide array of functions being built into mobile phones. When asked what media they expect to spend more time with in the future, the top four answers were podcasts, Internet, portable digital audio players, and digital television broadcasts for mobile devices.

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