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NPD: U.S. Video Game Player Totals Drop

USA Today summarizes a new report from the industry analysts at NPD Group that states the number of game players in the U.S. have declined by about 5% over last year, a counterintuitive result that may inspire questions about their undisclosed methodology. Here's word:

About two-thirds of Americans, 211.5 million, play video games in the U.S. That's about 12 million fewer, a 5% decline, than last year, NPD Says.

The number of mobile and digital gamers grew over 2011, while 2011's largest gamer category, core gamers, who focus on playing traditional console game systems, declined by 2%.

Overall, mobile gamers grew to make up 22% of the gaming population, an increase of 9%. Digital gamers, who primarily acquire games through free and paid downloads, rose 4% to account for 16% of all gamers.

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