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iOS, Android Game Sales Surpass DS, PSP Combined

Analyst group Flurry estimates that games released on Apple's iOS and Google's Android will make around $1.9 billion in combined revenues across the United States this year. This suggests that games based on these two platforms now bring in more revenue than Nintendo DS and Sony PSP games combined.

According to the group's study, the Nintendo DS dominated the portable gaming market in 2009 with a 70-percent share followed by Sony's PSP with an 11-percent share. Interestingly, the iOS/Android group already conquered Sony with a 19-percent share in the same year. By 2010, they commanded 34-percent of the market, reducing Nintendo's share to 57-percent and Sony's share to 9-percent.

By the end of 2011, the iOS/Android duo will consume 58-percent of the mobile gaming market while the Nintendo DS takes another hit, reduced to 36-percent. Sony's PSP seemingly doesn't have a chance with a meager 6-percent share. However when using actual dollar amounts, these percentages mean the entire mobile gaming sector took in an estimated $2.7 billion in 2009, $2.5 billion in 2010 and $3.3 billion in 2011.

"The most striking trend is that iOS and Android games have tripled their market share from roughly 20-percent in 2009 to nearly 60-percent in just two years," Flurry states. "Simultaneously, Nintendo, the once dominant player, has been crushed down to owning about one-third of market in 2011, from having controlled more than two-thirds in 2009. Combined, iOS and Android game revenue delivered $500 million, $800 million and $1.9 billion over 2009, 2010 and 2011, respectively."

"Within the portable category, an abundance of digitally distributed free and $0.99 games, available on hardware, that is both comparably priced and more powerful than traditional portable game devices, better appeals to many consumers," the group continues. "As a result, the days of paying $25, or more, for a cartridge at a retail store may soon end. Further, the installed base of iOS and Android devices has not only reached critical mass, but also continues to grow at unprecedented rates. In their latest public statements regarding installed base, Apple and Google reported a total of 250 million iOS devices and 190 million Android devices activated, respectively."

The report goes on to point out that Nintendo is facing its first fiscal year loss since the company began reporting profits in 1981 thanks to the slumping sales of the Nintendo DS and the Nintendo Wii console. The new 3DS also didn't quite catch on, forcing the company to take another hit by dropping its price to $169.99 USD. Meanwhile Google and Apple are entering the console space by invading the consumer living room thanks to the tablet form factor (with HDMI output no less) and upcoming Apple and Google TV initiatives.

"Beyond 2011, if Nintendo continues to face financial hardship, it may be forced to consider difficult choices such as divesting its hardware business and distributing its content, for the first time, across non-proprietary platforms," Flurry states even though Nintendo recently stated that it has no plans to enter the smartphone sector whatsoever.

Is it really game over for Nintendo and Sony in the mobile sector? For Nintendo, the end may be near if the 3DS doesn't gain enough traction.  Sony on the other hand has chosen to cast out a safety net (should the PS Vita fail) by supporting the Android platform. Maybe Nintendo will eventually figure that out too.

To read the full report, head here.

  • dillonpeterliam
    Gaming on a phone is not the same as a dedicated handheld, I really wouldn't like to see Sony and Nintendo disappear (from the mobile gaming sector). Plus these reports come at the very end of both handheld life, I think the 3DS will still sell well over the next year and the Vita will do OK, maybe better? . .
    Reply
  • psp09
    Is very interesting how the iOS and the Android has changed the market for the big guys, now near to disappear but i hope not. As says dillonpeterliam is better a dedicated game platform.
    Reply
  • lashabane
    As far as I know, the DS and PSP aren't connected to a market place via the internet.

    This research only suggests that people who are capable of spending money within 5 minutes are going to do so and the companies that program for those people are going to make money.
    Reply
  • Vorador2
    "Analyst group estimates..."

    I stopped reading there. I'm tired of "analyst" making assumptions about markets they don't understand.

    Android/iOS is a overcrowded market for cheap apps that cater to pick-and-play gaming. Dedicated systems are far more pricey in both hardware and software, but cater to the exigent player that needs a higher quality experience.

    The problem with 3DS is that it currently lacks a killer app. DS had Brain Training, New Super Mario, etc. almost right from the start. 3DS had none of that at launch, and the 3D effect makes some people sick.
    Reply
  • illfindu
    I agree with Iashabane being able to have people make impulse buys is a huge deal. I personally know what its like I cant tell you how many times I saw some thing in an IOS market and just thought that's interesting and the ease of getting it made me take the risk of buying it. I also feel like developers are catching on to some thing other company's have known for years if you break payments up in to smaller amounts even if they add up to the same amount consumers see it differently . I think the IOS market is a good example of this seeing almost 70$ after tax for a game on disc feels different to people then buying a 1.99 or even 3.99 game even if they end up spending 70$ on them in the long run. Not to run on but their is also the advantage of when your prices are this low you are less likely to have people be burnt when they don't like some thing some one buys the new 60$ ps3 game and they hate it they aren't gonna be happy and if this happens 3-4 times in a short time they might be less willing to pay 60$ again but at 3.99 its easy to just say o well. * or easier at least*
    Reply
  • pbmkane41
    I have hundreds of games apps, and a handful of Nintendo cartridges. Guess which I spent more on and play more often. Yet another group of analysts spelling the doom for dedicated game consoles. How come nobody's researching/writing about how these cheap games actually broaden the market for video games, how the iOS devices actually pique the interest of people to actually purchase home consoles?
    Reply
  • de5_Roy
    ios and android devices overtaking dedicated handheld gaming devices was inevitable. average people don't like to carry around two (among other) devices - one only for gaming.
    dedicated gaming handhelds will soon become niche products or merge themselves into smartphones/superphones. predicting death of dedicated handheld consoles is easier than predicting death of pc/console gaming. long hardware cycles, underwhelming product launches, lack of interesting titles to attract enough customers all attribute to slow handheld console death.
    Reply
  • molo9000
    I always thought the handheld console market was primarily aimed at kids.

    Do 9 year olds have iPhones these days?
    Reply
  • lashabane
    illfinduI agree with Iashabane being able to have people make impulse buys is a huge deal. I personally know what its like I cant tell you how many times I saw some thing in an IOS market and just thought that's interesting and the ease of getting it made me take the risk of buying it. I also feel like developers are catching on to some thing other company's have known for years if you break payments up in to smaller amounts even if they add up to the same amount consumers see it differently . I think the IOS market is a good example of this seeing almost 70$ after tax for a game on disc feels different to people then buying a 1.99 or even 3.99 game even if they end up spending 70$ on them in the long run. Not to run on but their is also the advantage of when your prices are this low you are less likely to have people be burnt when they don't like some thing some one buys the new 60$ ps3 game and they hate it they aren't gonna be happy and if this happens 3-4 times in a short time they might be less willing to pay 60$ again but at 3.99 its easy to just say o well. * or easier at least*I must admit that I made an impulse buy today.
    There was this double decker chocolate chip cookie thing at the cafeteria on campus today.
    Couldn't resist it, just looked too damned good.
    Paid $2 and didn't even finish it.

    How many times have we spent $10+ on a game and not finish it?
    Reply
  • sinned angel
    As far as I know, I haven't found any good games on iOS or Android that's better than the old NDS or PSP games. Not to mention next year upcoming 3DS and NGP games... Btw I still don't like Vita's name, so I keep calling it NGP :P
    Reply