Kids still do a ton of gaming on their consoles and computers, but they are spending an increasing amount of time with their mobile devices, according to a report from industry-analysis firm The NPD Group.

In its recent “Kids and Gaming 2013” report, NPD revealed that 53 percent of mobile-device owners are spending more time gaming on those platforms compared to 2011. Teenagers ages 12 to 17 are seeing the biggest increase. While they were already using smartphones and tablets to play games for five hours a week in 2011, they are now using them for games an average of seven hours per week.

“Kids embrace change, adopting new devices and technologies, for the experience of gaming and accessing other entertainment content, and it is critical to understand the current mindset of the highly engaged 2- to 17-year-old gamer,” NPD analyst Liam Callahan said in a statement. “Kids are engaged with mobile devices as less expensive tablets and an increasing amount of hand-me-down phones create greater accessibility to these platforms than before.”

Despite the increased use of iOS and Android devices, traditional platforms like console and PC remain the top devices for gaming. The NPD notes, however, that the momentum is clearly in favor of smartphones and tablets.


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“The question becomes whether this mobile usage will continue to grow for 2 to 17 year olds, and if usage will become more prevalent than gaming on consoles and computers as time progresses,” said Callahan. “More importantly, we need to understand how these forms of gaming provide different types of experiences for young gamers.”

The NPD report indicates that children are starting to game using mobile devices at a younger age than ever. The average kid starts playing at age 8. That’s down compared to age 9 in 2011. NPD expects that age to continue to plummet.

The information firm based this study on 3,842 children between the ages of 2 to 17. NPD held an online survey for female adults between the ages of 21 and 60 who are members of its online panel.

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