Smartphone Platforms Continue to Grab Share of Portable Gaming Market

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Last December, we reported on survey results showing that users of portable games are increasingly defecting from dedicated devices such as the Nintendo DS and Sony PSP to smartphones such as the iPhone.




New data from analytics firm Flurry comparing overall video game market share in 2009 and 2010 reveals a similar trend, with iOS and Android combining to take 8% of the overall market and a full 34% of the portable gaming market as measure by revenue. In the overall market, console games continue to dominate, growing from 71% to 76% on only a slight increase in total video game revenue.
From 2009 to 2010, iOS and Android game sales increased from 5% to 8% market share within the U.S. video game market. Specifically, we estimate that iOS and Android game revenue increased from $500 million in 2009 to more $800 million in 2010. Of this, the significant majority of revenue was generated by iPhone games.


But setting aside the console market, the success of iOS and Android (primarily iOS according to Flurry's data) as gaming platforms is more obvious in the portable market, where the smartphone platforms have increased their share of revenue from 19% in 2009 to 34% in 2010 at the expense of Nintendo's and Sony's offerings.
From 2009 to 2010, iOS and Android game sales have spiked significantly, resulting in nearly a doubling of their market share. With both Nintendo DS and Sony PlayStation Portable shrinking in sales, while smart-device game sales simultaneously grew by more than 60%, iOS and Android games now represent more than one third of the portable game category.
It is also important to note that the surge in revenue share for smartphone platforms comes at a significantly lower average price point than for dedicated devices, meaning that even the strong growth from those platforms has eaten into the total portable gaming market, which dropped from $2.7 billion in 2009 to $2.4 billion in 2010. The "race to the bottom" has long been one of the main concerns for smartphone application developers, particularly traditional game developers who have been accustomed to the pricing model for dedicated gaming devices. But users are clearly shifting toward more casual gaming at lower price points on their smartphones, and developers that have embraced that market are in many cases seeing solid results.

Article Link: Smartphone Platforms Continue to Grab Share of Portable Gaming Market
 

OrangeSVTguy

macrumors 601
Sep 16, 2007
4,114
58
Northeastern Ohio
Since cell Phones in general are becomming more powerful, why is this a surprise? Everyone has a cell phone now. Why carry around another device just to play games?
 

tigress666

macrumors 68040
Apr 14, 2010
3,288
17
Washington State
Well, I see for me, some one who isn't going to buy an extra device to play portable games (my iphone has enough games I like, and not just the stupid little angry bird type games, stuff like old rpgs (and some new designed for the phone) and racing games) good and bad in this.

Good in that it may tempt more of the bigger developers to make stuff for my device (like Square has made quite a few games now though many of it is old games redone but hey, they're still fun :) , Capcom has some though in general I don't think Capcom has gotten the hang of making good iphone games, not as impressed with their stuff, we have Gameloft as well).

Bad in that the stuff that is encouraging people to move over is the angry bird type games and that it appears to make the more in depth stuff isn't as profitable. So in the long run we may not see as many games come out that are profitable.

Already it is sad when you look at the console market a lot of games are just games based on popular movies and not much innovation (cause the games based on the movies make the money and stuff like Okami and more innovative stuff gets ignored). I remember when I was reading an article complaining about how that was the trend in games (it happened to movies too once blockbusters came out. Movie studios were more interested in making blockbusters than unique movies, basically finding a formula that worked and sticking with it rather than trying anything different).
 

swarmster

macrumors 6502a
Jun 1, 2004
623
89
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8G4 Safari/6533.18.5)

It's been interesting to see how many disparate markets have been turned upside-down by the iPhone and iPhone-like smartphones. Camcorders (the Flip line, 80% of the market a couple years ago, was shuttered yesterday), digital still cameras, portable gaming devices, music players, netbooks, and on and on.
 

Stella

macrumors G3
Apr 21, 2003
8,442
5,097
Canada
Its all about convergence.

If your on the go then its more convenient to play games on a smartphone - one device than carry around two.

At the moment - drawbacks over portable gaming consoles - (1) battery life (2) games on smartphones tend to have a lot less content.. but smartphone games tend to be signficantly cheaper. If you want a game containing depth then your not going to be looking at your smartphone at the moment.

In some countries its totally fine to watch TV on your smartphone too...
 

mac1984user

macrumors 6502a
Dec 10, 2009
803
355
United Kingdom
Just please never give me a parallax 3D screen on my iPhone, or it'll induce vomiting. Until I can walk around in a 3D world and my brain doesn't know the difference between that virtual world and the real one, please let me stick with 2D!
 

whooleytoo

macrumors 604
Aug 2, 2002
6,574
657
Cork, Ireland.
Bad in that the stuff that is encouraging people to move over is the angry bird type games and that it appears to make the more in depth stuff isn't as profitable. So in the long run we may not see as many games come out that are profitable.
Well, when you have people complaining about the price of 2 euro games, then you know the market is just a rush to the bottom. Simple games that can be quickly and cheaply made; with very little depth. I prefer longer, more involved gameplay too, but who's going to make those games with the price point so low?

Already it is sad when you look at the console market a lot of games are just games based on popular movies and not much innovation (cause the games based on the movies make the money and stuff like Okami and more innovative stuff gets ignored). I remember when I was reading an article complaining about how that was the trend in games (it happened to movies too once blockbusters came out. Movie studios were more interested in making blockbusters than unique movies, basically finding a formula that worked and sticking with it rather than trying anything different).
I agree, it's the same thing. If you want to make a big game (or movie), you need lots of money. That means you need an investor - whose motivation is making a profit. To make a profit you then have to sell a lot of copies, so the game has to be mainstream. It has to be low-risk, so will stick to conventional, proven game-types. Great for investors, boring and predictable for gamers.
 

swarmster

macrumors 6502a
Jun 1, 2004
623
89
Well, I see for me, some one who isn't going to buy an extra device to play portable games (my iphone has enough games I like, and not just the stupid little angry bird type games, stuff like old rpgs (and some new designed for the phone) and racing games) good and bad in this.

Good in that it may tempt more of the bigger developers to make stuff for my device (like Square has made quite a few games now though many of it is old games redone but hey, they're still fun :) , Capcom has some though in general I don't think Capcom has gotten the hang of making good iphone games, not as impressed with their stuff, we have Gameloft as well).

Bad in that the stuff that is encouraging people to move over is the angry bird type games and that it appears to make the more in depth stuff isn't as profitable. So in the long run we may not see as many games come out that are profitable.

Already it is sad when you look at the console market a lot of games are just games based on popular movies and not much innovation (cause the games based on the movies make the money and stuff like Okami and more innovative stuff gets ignored). I remember when I was reading an article complaining about how that was the trend in games (it happened to movies too once blockbusters came out. Movie studios were more interested in making blockbusters than unique movies, basically finding a formula that worked and sticking with it rather than trying anything different).
I think in terms of portable games, whether on smartphones or not, the market will produce what people want to play. I think in the portable market specifically (very different from the console market, as much as Sony wants to pretend people want to play full console-style games on the go), there is more demand for quick pick-up-and-put-down games, particularly ones with some depth, addictiveness, and significant content, which we're seeing more and more of.

At the same time, more 'serious' games like Square's releases and the recent Death Rally, and many others seem to be doing well enough that people looking for that kind of content shouldn't be too worried. I just wouldn't expect, say, a full-blown Assassin's Creed or similar console game, because those are console games. I don't think nearly enough people want that kind of experience on a phone to justify the cost.

As for most console games being licenced garbage these days, I would point out that has always been the case, back to the NES/SNES days. People only remember all the good games because, well, that's all people remember.
 

furi0usbee

macrumors 68000
Jul 11, 2008
1,781
1,264
iOS does what NintenDONT, to quote a long, lost video game ad campaign.

It would be nice to see Nintendo games for the iPad/iPhone. But I won't hold my breath. They are a hardware maker, and so goes that. But someday they may have to seriously consider this, especially since every other kid these days has an iPhone, and they are getting them younger and younger. My friend's 7-year old wants one.. an iPhone that is.
 

tigress666

macrumors 68040
Apr 14, 2010
3,288
17
Washington State
At the same time, more 'serious' games like Square's releases and the recent Death Rally, and many others seem to be doing well enough that people looking for that kind of content shouldn't be too worried. I just wouldn't expect, say, a full-blown Assassin's Creed or similar console game, because those are console games. I don't think nearly enough people want that kind of experience on a phone to justify the cost.
Well, be nice to have a portable version (doesn't have to be as deep or as many moves). You're right I don't need a full console version (or expect it cause I expect consoles to have more graphical ability and honestly, handhelds even with physical buttons are a compromise on good controls cause you still have to stick a display on your controller and can't shape it to be the ideal controller).

I have to admit I did enjoy Assassin's Creed on my iphone and mostly enjoyed Prince of Persia (Liked it better than AC but it has a huge flaw and I'm pretty sure the flaw has nothing to do with it being an iphone but the game itself, unless they allowed save points more often cause I think even if they implemented save points in certain areas that they didn't, it would at least make these parts of the game less annoying or at least dealable to get through to go back to the fun parts).

So even those games can be fun on the phone.
 

Xenomorph

macrumors 65816
Aug 6, 2008
1,312
556
St. Louis
They're really lumping iOS and *ANDROID* sales together?

Doesn't Android get something like 1% of the sales iOS gets?
 

Popeye206

macrumors 68040
Sep 6, 2007
3,148
836
NE PA USA
Convenience is the key. Everyone carries their cell phone with them so it's way more convenient to pull it out and play a casual game than a separate portable game device.

I think it's going to kill devices like the DS as the games get better and the smart phone platforms more powerful. It's not going to happen tomorrow, but portable game systems days are numbered.
 

benpatient

macrumors 68000
Nov 4, 2003
1,870
0
Convenience is the key. Everyone carries their cell phone with them so it's way more convenient to pull it out and play a casual game than a separate portable game device.

I think it's going to kill devices like the DS as the games get better and the smart phone platforms more powerful. It's not going to happen tomorrow, but portable game systems days are numbered.
are the games getting better, though?
 

ChazUK

macrumors 603
Feb 3, 2008
5,390
24
Essex (UK)
In the advent of "smarter" smartphones I see no need for portable systems (for me at least).
Nintendo and Sony should take note (with the Xperia Play it seems at least Sony* have already).

*SonyEricsson really.
 
Convenience is the key. Everyone carries their cell phone with them so it's way more convenient to pull it out and play a casual game than a separate portable game device.

I think it's going to kill devices like the DS as the games get better and the smart phone platforms more powerful. It's not going to happen tomorrow, but portable game systems days are numbered.
I absolutely agree, with the exception that portable game systems will be forgotten entirely. Theres a HUGE market for pre-cellphone owning kids who love their portable games. It's much more likely for a parent to buy their 7 year old a DS, than an iPod touch or iPhone...I certainly would want to limit their access to games alone.
 
iOS does what NintenDONT, to quote a long, lost video game ad campaign.

It would be nice to see Nintendo games for the iPad/iPhone. But I won't hold my breath. They are a hardware maker, and so goes that. But someday they may have to seriously consider this, especially since every other kid these days has an iPhone, and they are getting them younger and younger. My friend's 7-year old wants one.. an iPhone that is.
Donkey Kong Country, Mario 3, Starfox 64 on the iPad...

FTW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

Yamcha

macrumors 68000
Mar 6, 2008
1,807
134
I think most people wanting to game should go for a console instead.. But then again you can download emulators & games and run it on your iphone or ipad, but obviously not legal as far as I know.. But It can be done..

I think Nintendo better watch out :p. Still I think the fact that the new Nintendo DS has 3D support means it's probably going to be a better gaming experience then a iPhone or iPod Touch..

The games that are available on iOS devices are not of the highest quality, infact most of the games are crap, IMO.. I've tried FPS shooters, the experience just isn't the same, some games are awesome for iOS particularly racing games & games that take advantage of the gyro..

But in all honesty I haven't seen a game yet on iOS that really blew me away, so as far as gaming goes I think getting a console is the better choice..
 

Number 41

macrumors 6502a
Jun 15, 2009
721
460
In the advent of "smarter" smartphones I see no need for portable systems (for me at least).
Nintendo and Sony should take note (with the Xperia Play it seems at least Sony* have already).
Portable gaming is enormous in Japan -- Nintendo and Sony could be profitable for decades just selling their portable systems there.

Also, while there are many fun iOS titles, touch screen interfaces are just poor substitutes for traditional game controllers for many titles. As long as consoles are still relying on analog sticks and buttons, it'll be tough to replicate the experience enjoyably on a touch-screen device for many genres.
 

tigress666

macrumors 68040
Apr 14, 2010
3,288
17
Washington State
But in all honesty I haven't seen a game yet on iOS that really blew me away, so as far as gaming goes I think getting a console is the better choice..
Well duh! Consoles aren't really handheld's rival. You expect that it will be the better gaming ability.

But handhelds have their purpose too. Entertainment where you can't carry a tv and console around. On airplanes, going on vacation where it's just not practical to lug a whole console around (especially considering airlines are tightening allowances for luggage), when you're waiting for something somewhere away from your home (like at a doctor's office).

Consoles shouldn't even be discussed in this discussion. That is like comparing apples and oranges, they really have no bearing in this at all.
 

coder12

macrumors 6502a
Jun 28, 2010
512
3
Well duh! Consoles aren't really handheld's rival. You expect that it will be the better gaming ability.

But handhelds have their purpose too. Entertainment where you can't carry a tv and console around. On airplanes, going on vacation where it's just not practical to lug a whole console around (especially considering airlines are tightening allowances for luggage), when you're waiting for something somewhere away from your home (like at a doctor's office).

Consoles shouldn't even be discussed in this discussion. That is like comparing apples and oranges, they really have no bearing in this at all.
The iPad is a direct competitor to consoles.

I plug it into my TV, grab my iPhone, and play games till I die ;)
 

inlovewithi

macrumors 6502a
Sep 23, 2009
615
0
I downloaded some games for my Android phone. Doesn't mean I play them. I'm sorry, but having a controller is a very serious must.

On another note not related to the above comment, I would like to read the comments from those who have never played video games on this site. Since it's something that I've been exposed to for so long, it's interesting to see how ignorant people tend to sound when they speak of things they are not familiar with.
 
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