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access_time March 13, 2013 at 11:11 AM in Culture by Justin Weinblatt

According to NPD Nintendo/Portable Fans Are Not Core Gamers


For a while now, people have been trying to determine exactly what a hardcore or “core” gamer is.  Thankfully that question has been answered by our good friends at NPD, a research firm for gaming.  As part of a preview on their core gaming report for 2013, NPD has defined the core gamer by the following criteria.

A core gamer is a person who…

a) Owns and plays a core gaming device.  This includes PC, X-Box 360, or PS3.  This apparently includes Macs, but not Wii, Wii U, or any portable device.

b) Plays for more than 5 hours a week on a core gaming console.

c) Plays core games on core devices  Core games are defined as action, adventure, fighting, flight, massively multi-player, racing, real time strategy, role-playing,

So, if you prefer to play on a Wii, Wii U, Vita, PSP, DS, or 3DS, I’m sorry, but you’re not a core gamer.  But even if you own a 360 or a PS3, don’t get all high and mighty just yet.  According to NPD, just a mere 14% of you are hardcore gamers.

So to recap.  If you’re a gamer who plays Pokemon Conquest for 1 hour in a week, 2 hours of Persona 4 Golden, 2 hours of Zombi U, 2 hours of Sin and Punishment: Star Successor, 2 hours of Skyrim, 1 hour of Metal Gear Solid Peace Walker, and 3 hours of Fire Emblem Awakening you are not a hardcore gamer.  If you’re a gamer who plays 3 hours of Call of Duty and 2 hours of Madden, you are.  Well, as long as you’re playing them on a PC, 360, or PS3 at least.

On the one hand I understand that NPD is trying to define and study a narrow group and that defining a group can be tricky.  After all the collective gaming community has not been able to come up with a better definition of core gamer in the past. On the other hand, **** those guys.

Feel free to either start a flame war in the comments or have an intelligent conversation.  Your choice.  As always, if you want to contact me, do so @ Twitter.com/gotgamejustin. If you want to read the whole preview from NPD feel free to do so @ here Thanks to VGChartz user BasilZero for the tip.


  • Civilian #5433710 March 13, 2013 at 2:02 PM

    I’ve been gaming primarily on Nintendo Systems for over 20 yrs and currently play an average of 40 hrs a week on Wii U & 3DS. So, what does that make me? ‘Someone who enjoys what is being offered with Nintendo Systems’, and that is all… no LABEL required. I have no desire to be placed in a group for statistical purposes or acceptance. This isn’t a poorly acted ‘Murican school movie… well the ‘acting’ part is debatable, given the state of the gaming industry these days. Name or classify me as you will, as I care only for what is being experienced after my head turns from the laptop and back to the game screen, everything else is fluff.

    • Justin Weinblatt March 13, 2013 at 2:07 PM

      According to NPD, that makes you not a core gamer. The point of posting this article was to show that this is how many people in the business view you, which is, in my opinion, a problem. And make no mistake about it, whether you want to or don’t want to be put in a group, marketing teams are going to put you into one 🙂

  • Ramon Aranda March 13, 2013 at 6:43 PM

    What an absurd point of view by the NPD. I was a “core” gamer, when I was rocking my NES and Gameboy.

  • Holyfire March 14, 2013 at 7:16 AM

    I define a hardcore gamer as one who has an affinaty and skill to play highly difficult and challenging games (it’s amazing to see how many ppl I met that struggle to manage how to learn Wii Sports Bowling).
    And a core gamer is one that will avidly engage in the majority of gaming genres.
    Wii and maybe.. even WiiU wouldn’t be called “hardcore systems” in my book, but I have been a predominant Nintendo gamer for a long time. And though to a lesser extent today, would still call myself a hardcare gamer.
    Get me on multi-player on another console and I will end up rivaling the game owners within an hours play, or match me up against someone in a PC shooter. I’ll still challenge anyone.

  • ubernaut March 14, 2013 at 10:17 AM

    I say NPD aren’t core gamers. 😛

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