No recession for solitaire on PCs

April 8, 2009

Forget the bells and whistles, realistic graphics, complex story lines and cinematic soundtracks. When it comes to video games, solitaire still rules.

According to Nielsen’s fourth-quarter “State of the Video Gamer” report, the most played PC video game in the United States is solitaire, the free, easily accessible and familiar time-waster adored by cubicle dwellers. The game, which is pre-installed on most Windows PCs, had more than 17 million players in December. Solitaire players aged 25 to 54 are apt to play it five times a week for about 30 minutes at a stretch

Females older than 25 made up the largest chunk of PC gamers in December, accounting for 46.2 percent of all players, Nielsen said.

On the console side, Sony’s PlayStation 2 — with the largest installed base — still leads other consoles in terms of total usage, although its numbers are trending downward. At the same time, more hardcore users, who favor Microsoft’s Xbox and Sony’s PlayStation 3, are apparently far more wrapped up in their game playing. They are less likely to watch television in prime time than users of Nintendo‘s Wii or the PlayStation 2, Nielsen said.

(Photo: Reuters)

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