March 30, 2006 – Posted at 4:19 p.m. CST
JONESBORO, AR -- Microsoft displays its popular new gaming system, the Xbox-360, on the ASU campus. To say video gaming is big business is an understatement. Last year, U.S. retail sales of video game consoles, hand-held devices, games and accessories amounted to $10.5 billion dollars in sales. But it's not just kids who enjoy video games. 60% percent of all gamers are 25 to 44 years old and by some estimates, 60% of all Americans play video games.
It's a highly competitive industry that markets to all different ages. Thursday the Xbox-360 Game Live Tour made a stop at ASU showing off some of the industries newest toys.
"It depends on how busy the week is, but I play at least 20 hours a week," said student Chad Mooney.
"You come off working a 9-5 shift and rather that sitting back with a six-pack, you sit back with two controllers, play video games for a couple hours just to release you mind and have a little fun to break up the monotony of everyday life," said Xbox 360 host Faruq Tauheed.
"I like playing them because I can be Superman, Vince Carter, Kobe Bryant. I can be an Army man or whatever I want to be," said student Jeremy Moore.
The video game industry is highly competitive with different gaming consoles and different themed software. That's why companies like Microsoft bring events like the Game Live Tour to advertise to their target audience college students.
"These guys who are 17, 18, and 19 and up to 25, sometimes in college have been growing up with video games and this is a way for us to introduce new video games to them and also the ones they love as well," said Tauheed.
Tours cater video games to college students, but it isn't just for college students. Since the invention of Pong, more and more people are growing up with video games.
"So now you have people growing up with video games and they are teaching their kids video games and it is all staying the same line," said Tauheed.
Long thought to be a boy's toy, a number of girls now pick Super Mario over Barbie.
"I play with my brothers, my boyfriend, his friends and I am actually good. I beat them all the time," said student LaQuilla Boyce.
With a demographic that continues to grow, Americans continue to pay big bucks to play games.
"I just bought the 360 this year that was $400 and a game every other month," laughed Mooney.
It's an industry that should be on pace to grow again as Sony plans to release its new Play station 3 before the end of the year.