Phones beat out consoles and PCs with gamers old and young

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The Elder Scrolls: Blades promises top-tier gaming on iOS.
The quality of iPhone gaming has improved dramatically in recent years. Consider The Elder Scrolls: Blades, for example.
Photo: Bethesda Softworks

More people play games on their phones than on any other type of computer, according to a new survey. And the number is much higher for women.

The survey breaks out where people prefer to play games by age and gender. And there’s a much wider spread of ages than many might guess.

About half of all Americans use their phone to play games, according to 2019 Essential Facts About the Computer and Video Game Industry released today by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), an industry trade association.

“Americans play video games to have fun, relieve stress, learn, and spend time with family,” said ESA acting President and CEO Stanley Pierre-Louis. “This innovative form of entertainment touches on every part of society and improves how we play, work, and live.”

Most phone  gamers are older than you think

The survey done by the ESA found that 65 percent of American adults play video games. And the device used 60 percent the time is a smartphone. PCs are used 52 percent of the time, while the share for game consoles is 49 percent.

Although the stereotypical gamer is a man, 46 percent of players are women.

And it’s not just young people playing on their phones, either. The average age of frequent phone game purchasers is 37, though parents buying for their children might skew this.

The survey broke out preferences by age groups, and found that 69 percent of female millennial gamers play on a smartphone, though males this age prefer consoles.

For Gen X, 70 percent of women most often play on a phone, while for men it’s 62 percent.

Boomers enjoy playing video games, too. The ESA found that 58 percent of female gamers in this age group use their phone, but males prefer a PC.

Apple recently unveiled a new service aimed at gamers. Apple Arcade will bring access to hundreds of games for a monthly subscription fee. It’s goal is to feature high-quality titles that don’t ever nag layers about in-app purchases.