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72 per cent of Americans play games

Well, played at least one last year.

A new report by stat-trackers NPD claims that 72 per cent of US residents played a videogame in 2007, an increase of 8 per cent over the 2006 figure.

More than 20,000 people took part in the survey. Apparently 40 per cent played a game online last year, and 90 per cent of them did so on a PC. Less than 20 per cent played a console title online, and half of them did so on an Xbox 360.

Xbox 360 owners spend more time playing online than PC and PS3 owners. Children aged between 2 and 12 are responsible for 25 per cent of the online gaming that goes on, while the figure for 18 to 24 year-olds is just 10 per cent.

2 per cent of survey respondents said they own a PS3, Xbox 360 and a Wii, while 3 per cent reported having two of the consoles.

"Despite the buzz in the industry regarding online gaming, it is still relatively small compared to offline gaming," said NPD analyst Anita Frazier.

"There is still a large, untapped market for gaming in general and online gaming in particular."