Teenage boys play more video games than teenage girls, but the gap between them may be smaller than you think. Pew Research Center's latest survey found that 83% of teenage girls played video games and that 75% of girls had access to a gaming console.

Chart showing percentages of teenagers in the U.S. who play video games and those with access to a game console

Data source: Pew Research Center. Chart by author.

The recent rise of cross-platform games like Epic Games' sandbox survival game, Fortnite -- which can be played across PCs, consoles, and mobile devices -- is attracting more female gamers. It also indicates that gaming consoles and high-end PCs are no longer required for many popular games.   

Cross-platform games like Fortnite emphasize accessible gameplay over high-end graphics, as seen with other top titles, including Activision Blizzard's (NASDAQ:ATVI) card game, Hearthstone, and PUBG Corporation's battle royale gamePlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds. Fortnite and Hearthstone are also free-to-play titles, which attracts more casual gamers.

Console makers need to figure out how to address this shift as raw horsepower becomes less relevant to teen gamers. Game developers also shouldn't solely market games for teenage boys. That's why Activision has a more diverse range of characters of both sexes in Overwatch, another top game, while PUBG and Fortnite both feature female characters.