The Loop points to some interesting findings in a recent report by Interpret, a marketing research firm. The work explores the iPad’s popularity among both traditional and non-traditional gamers in the United States.

We’ve known for awhile now that Apple’s iOS platform was making the gaming industry nervous, but I don’t think we knew how much. Interpret is reporting that the iPad’s gaming base has grown to over 8 million in the US alone…

The research firm claims that 71% of iPad owners in the US use the Apple tablet for gaming. These owners include a large number of traditional gamers, as well as an even bigger number of folks who have never touched a console.

Interpret analyst Jason Preston on their findings:

“Collectively, iPad gamers are showing slightly decreased involvement with gaming on home consoles, mobile phones, and Nintendo handheld consoles. These facts imply that iPad game developers and publishers can definitely reach a new audience on the iPad, and should closely monitor Apple’s positioning of the iPad as an in-home gaming device, especially considering the platform’s already obvious impact on traditional gaming behavior.”

With games like Angry Birds and Plants vs. Zombies, it’s not hard to see why Apple’s tablet is making inroads with non-traditional gamers. Their premise is simple, and game controls are easy to learn. My girlfriend won’t touch my PS3, but she loves PvsZ.

I think Preston hits the nail on the head with the last line in the above statement, “Developers should monitor Apple’s positioning of the iPad as an in-home gaming device.” Remember that neat AirPlay mirroring feature in iOS 5 we keep hearing about?

Apple would be foolish not to advertise the ability to play games wirelessly on the big screen with an iPad and Apple TV. I suspect we’ll start seeing commercials within the next 12 months touting the two products as a possible console replacement.

Do you consider yourself an iPad gamer?