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Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

May 24, 2006 at 10:22 AM

NPD Reports: Kids, devices and games

There are a couple of interesting studies out today by the NPD Group, a research firm in Port Washington, N.Y.

In one, researchers found that children ages 4 to 14 are using consumer electronics devices six months earlier than they were a year ago. And more than twice the number of children personally own digital music players and digital cameras this year than a year ago. Cellphone ownership is up by 50 percent.

In the second study, NPD found that U.S. consumer spending on PC games hit $1.4 billion in 2005.

It’s interesting that online subscriptions to PC games and gaming Web sites were about $344 million of this total. Subscriptions to specific games, such as current 800-pound gorilla “World of Warcraft,” were $292 million last year with 1.4 million paying subscribers. I wrote about this phenomenon earlier this month.

Paid casual gaming sites — the ones that offer simpler “Tetris”-like games online — had sales of about $52 million last year with 1.05 million paid subscribers.

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