According to the latest survey by the NPD, gaming has attracted a larger female audience in 2009 than in 2008, more significantly in consoles. The number of lady gamers out there increased by up to 4 both in "heavy portable" and "extreme games" as compared to last year.
For console gamers, the number rose from 23 in 2008 to 28 in 2009. This number can be attributed largely to the Wii, which rose in female users by 19 from last year. "Last year was one of the most transformative in history in terms of defining the audience for gaming, said Anita Frazier, industry analyst, The NPD Group. "Even with the increased competition from mobile and social network gaming, the console gamer segment added the most new participants to its ranks in the last year."
The data was collected from more than 20,000 members of NPD s online consumer panel, ages two to 65 . Responses for consumers ages two to 12 were captured by instructing a parent to take his or her child in this age range to the computer to answer the questions, either with or without the parent s assistance. Qualified respondents reported they personally play video games on a PC, on a console or portable system, or on another device such as a mobile phone. The following four key variables were used to create the gamer segments: ownership; usage; frequency; and purchased/received video games. Final survey data was weighted to represent the U.S. population of individuals ages two and older. Fieldwork was conducted from January 7 January 27, 2009.
NPD also noted that this study was conducted way back in January, meaning data that refers to past three month behavior includes the holiday season of the previous year.
It's old, but should make a good read: