Mobile Phone Games Are Cutting Into Other Handheld's Sales - The UpStream

Mobile Phone Games Are Cutting Into Other Handheld's Sales

posted Saturday Nov 12, 2011 by Jon Wurm

Smartphone gaming is not a new concept. If you don't at least have Angry Birds Lite front and center on your device, then you are one of the few who practically does no mobile gaming (if you are, don't feel bad, I'm part of the 1% as well). What's interesting is how the landscape of mobile gaming has shifted from 2009 until now. Flurry Analytics and the NDP Group have released some statistics that show a dramatic increases in smartphone game sales for the iOS and Android platforms and corresponding decreases in Nintendo DS and Sony PSP game sales.

Even just 2 years ago in 2009 the Nintendo DS was a monster in the mobile gaming industry drinking in 70% of total mobile game sales. The PSP was clinging to 11% of the market and iOS/Android owned the other 19%. The projections for the end of 2011 tell a much different story. iOS/Android are starting to look more like Pacman on the pie chart as they consume the DS's 36% and the PSP's measly 6% to attain 58% of mobile game sales with a nice little cherry on top. iOS/Android are expected to round out 2011 with $1.9 billion in sales and the PSP/DS are expected to bring in around $1.4 billion. Read on after the break to find out if iOS/Android games will turn DS and PSP games into power pellets that will be swallowed up with the rest of the market.

The proliferation of smartphones has been nothing short of epidemic and overtime they have been evolving into multi-functional devices that dabble in both business and pleasure. They are practically a necessity of life that ranks somewhere up there with oxygen. In early 2012 we can expect to see quadcore phones running Nvidia hardware and there are other phones running Snapdragon and Hummingbird hardware, so the computing power is already present in a device you already own. Current mobile games don't measure up to the standards of AAA console titles but with increasing computing power, that isn't out of the question.

Aside from gamers being required to purchase extra hardware for PSP and DS gaming, both Sony and Nintendo have made some bad decisions in the past that are negatively affecting sales of games for their mobile platforms. For example, Nintendo is in dire straights and is riding on the success of the 3DS and Wii U which are its last chances at a comeback. Sony has always had problems in the past with PSP adoption and even after a great showing with the PS Vita at E3 2011, it won't be hitting shelves until February 22nd of next year. Sony plans to make PlayStation games available on their Android tablets and the Vita through the PlayStation Suite so there is a chance that causal games can infiltrate those devices should the need arise, something that the DS won't be able to take advantage of very easily if at all.

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