iPhone, Android gaming bigger than portable consoles

News Marin Perez 11:54, Feb 21 2013

A report found that iOS and Android games outgrossed portable game machines last quarter

While it may be fun, don't forget that gaming on your iPhone or Android is a big business. How big? A new report said consumer spending on iPhone and Android games surpassed that of traditional portable gaming consoles last quarter. 

The report comes from IDC and App Annie and it said that over 20 billion games were downloaded across all smartphones and tablets last year. Some of the top-grossing mobile games include Clash of Clans, Puzzle & Dragons, Hay Day, The Simpsons: Tapped Out, Anipang for Kakao and DragonFlight for Kakao. 

Some of those games may not be as recognizable as something like Angry Birds and that may be because many of the top-grossing mobile games came from Japan, South Korea and Finland. Many of these games also use the free-to-play model where users can make in-app purchases to get more goods. 

What does this mean for the likes of the PlayStation Vita and Nintendo 3DS? The report found these devices get a much larger spike during the holidays than mobile games and I would expect these devices to live on and sell a decent amount over the next few years. 

I'm still not convinced the long-term prospects for a dedicated mobile gaming device. To its credit, Sony appears to get this and the PlayStation 4 will eventually have apps which turn your iPhone or Android into a second screen for gaming.  

Niintendo appears to be going down a different path, as it seems extremely reluctant to bring its content to mobile devices. Sure, there are Android emulators out there but I definitely know that there would be a huge market for classic Nintendo games on the iPhone or Android. I wonder how long it will take for Nintendo to capitalize on that demand. 

[Via App Annie]

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