x PhoneArena is looking for new authors! To view all available positions, click here.
  • Home
  • News
  • iOS and Android are rapidly taking over the portable gaming market

iOS and Android are rapidly taking over the portable gaming market

Posted: , by Charlene S.

Tags:

iOS and Android are rapidly taking over the portable gaming market
Since the inception of mobile gaming, Nintendo has been a dominant player in the market with multiple incarnations of its Gameboy and DS series. Late-arriver, Sony, also managed to garner success with the introduction of its PlayStation Portable, or PSP. It seemed unlikely that another player could even hope to rival these two giants, let alone significantly reduce their market share.

iOS and Android have done just that. Traditionally portable gaming software revenue was fueled by physical game purchases, often in the form of a cartridge or a UMD, for around $40 a piece. Now, that revenue stream is also being powered by digital downloads. Both Android and iOS offer a significant amount of high-quality, premium games for $0.99 as well as games which are distributed using the ‘freemium’ model, which is when a game is free to download but offers in-app upgrades and purchases for additional content.

Flurry, a mobile applications analytics company, released a report today that shows the distribution of U.S. portable game software revenue over the last three years. Even though iOS and Android games typically cost much less from a price per unit standpoint, they have managed to expand from comprising 19% of the revenue in 2009 to a whopping 58% in 2011. Conversely, Sony and Nintendo have dropped from 11% and 70% in 2009 to 6% and 36% in 2011, respectively.

iOS and Android are rapidly taking over the portable gaming market


This dramatic shift in revenue source has caused some to question whether or not Sony and Nintendo can remain viable in this space at all. Despite including a 3DS store with its latest portable system for digital downloads, poor sales caused the manufacturer to slash the retail price of the 3DS and now Nintendo is anticipating posting their first fiscal year loss in over 30 years. The PlayStation Vita, which is set to be released in the U.S. on February 22, 2012, will feature a reduced rate, digital download option for all of its retail games.

It is not all doom and gloom for these two companies. While the hardware and software distribution models seem to be failing, there is still a lot of interest and desire to play games that feature IPs from both companies. Only time will tell if classic franchises such as Mario, Zelda, God of War, and Uncharted, to name a few, will eventually make their way to Android and iOS devices or if Nintendo and Sony will continue to manufacture hardware and release IPs exclusively to their own devices.

source: Flurry via Electronista

41 Comments
  • Options
    Close




posted on 09 Nov 2011, 21:19 4

1. aztaxia12295 (Posts: 264; Member since: 22 Nov 2009)


never knew the ds was THAT good.

i think phones r taking over because their technology is moving more rapidly than hand held game consoles.

posted on 10 Nov 2011, 03:41

25. ardent1 (Posts: 1991; Member since: 16 Apr 2011)


First, it wasn't DS is that good but more of the PSP failed to keep up with the times and the PSP Go was a dud plus PSP had a really sh*tty game selection. Btw, the screen on the PSP just blows away the DS. The first time I played Hot Shot Golf (one of my favorite PSP games), the graphics was years ahead of the DS plus the PSP had a big screen for a portable device. I am getting the PSP Vita just for the hell of it

Second, the reason why Apple is winning the war is because the games are a lot cheaper on the App Store. Infinity Blade was just a few dollars. Plus, the download took maybe 20 minutes. You compare it to going to a store, spending $20 to $30 to $40 for a cartridge and then the Nintendo game system played slow (after being hooked on the A4 chip).

posted on 10 Nov 2011, 06:08

31. rendHELL (Posts: 304; Member since: 09 Nov 2011)


when is the PSP vita goin to be released? is it true that psp vita was already hack? or is there alrady a customer firm ware for this?

posted on 10 Nov 2011, 06:10

32. rendHELL (Posts: 304; Member since: 09 Nov 2011)


when is the PSP vita goin to be released? is it true that psp vita was already hack? or is there alrady a customer firm ware for this?

posted on 09 Nov 2011, 21:21 2

2. henrickrw (Posts: 403; Member since: 16 Sep 2011)


Love playing Mario 64 & Riptide via chainfire 3D on my GS2

posted on 09 Nov 2011, 21:43 4

3. biophone (Posts: 1893; Member since: 15 Jun 2011)


Ios does appear to be doing great with gamming due to a great gpu and app store with android not to far behind. Should be exciting what these mobile platforms have in store ! :)

posted on 09 Nov 2011, 22:29

6. protozeloz (Posts: 5369; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)


Yes! NVIDIA is said to have developers working in 15 games that will work in tegra 2 and 3 and offer console like performance and graphics can't wait till we see something about that

posted on 10 Nov 2011, 10:01

36. biophone (Posts: 1893; Member since: 15 Jun 2011)


Should be fun to see what happens with mobile device gaming in the near future

posted on 09 Nov 2011, 22:06 3

4. The_Miz (Posts: 1496; Member since: 06 Apr 2011)


Of course iOS is obviously making a lot of progress in the portable gaming market and Android is barely there yet, but enough to get noticed.

posted on 09 Nov 2011, 22:27 6

5. AKm007 (Posts: 108; Member since: 06 Sep 2011)


This is what starts fights here. Can't you just accept that android has its own merits and the sun doesn't circle around you and IOS?

posted on 09 Nov 2011, 22:40 5

8. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5540; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)


he didn't exactly put down Android and besides he's right. Apple has been ahead in the smartphone gaming scene for a while. Android is just recently starting to get a respectable collection of games.

posted on 10 Nov 2011, 03:39 1

24. Gemmol (Posts: 490; Member since: 09 Nov 2011)


exactly, he is being honest I have android and I know it do not stand a cake to Apple with gaming but everything else we right there

posted on 09 Nov 2011, 23:01 3

12. Johnny_Mnemonic (Posts: 240; Member since: 05 Oct 2011)


Miz Who wants to play on that 4s screen that's for kids, let's play on a real android screen

posted on 10 Nov 2011, 00:52 2

18. p0rkguy (Posts: 683; Member since: 23 Nov 2010)


You're not even including the emulators which Android dominates iOS in.
I don't believe you're able to do much heavy gaming on iOS, they're basically simple minded games where you just have to touch here and there.
Android is able to emulate classic console games where you can actually use the real controller over simple finger presses.

posted on 10 Nov 2011, 01:58

20. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5540; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)


it depends on what your term of "heavy gaming" is. it's true i didn't really think about console emulation as i don't really think it's THAT big of a tide turner and the N64/PS emulators are still really buggy anyway so iOS can easily make up for that loss with it's own extensive, original collection of games especially more in depth ones like MMORPGs and stuff like that and not only that an iPhone CAN use console emulation when it's Jailbroken. it's a user preference thing but for the ideal, original, smartphone gaming experience iOS takes the cake. not the iPhone itself though. it's hampered by it's small screen.

posted on 09 Nov 2011, 22:35

7. Kease (Posts: 36; Member since: 30 Sep 2011)


No hardcore gamer would ever choose a phone over nintendo our sony, but it's probably a combination ofcost and availability. But then, hardcore gamers stick mostly to consoles anyway. Angrybirds and cut the rope are neat to stick it to the man at work or for the wait at the dmv, but why on earth would I ever play uncharted on a 10 in screen? Maybe a replay, but not initially. It's like waiting for the new "insert highly anticipated movie title here", and skipping the theater to watch it at home. That's cheating yourself of the full on experience!

posted on 09 Nov 2011, 22:43

9. protozeloz (Posts: 5369; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)


It depends, android devices already support different gaming inputs (controls, screen sensors) so when you buy a Tab or a superphone you might still get a console like experience, that and some nice games that have being cooking lately.

posted on 10 Nov 2011, 00:48

17. p0rkguy (Posts: 683; Member since: 23 Nov 2010)


No hardcore gamer would ever choose anything over PC. Anybody that even mentions anything else better than PC in gaming doesn't know gaming. All those other devices/consoles are used for casual gaming.

posted on 10 Nov 2011, 18:42

41. Kease (Posts: 36; Member since: 30 Sep 2011)


Touche, my point is that to anyone who cares about gaming first, would never dream of such a substitute. Console vs computer is the ios vs droid argument, and I don't care enough to argue really. I will concede the pc's superior gaming experience, fit the lives at home with mom in their forties or the antisocial I only exist online crowd. But for those who like to hook up to a50" tv and have ppl over and bout play like a hermit cuz I won't let anyone touch my custom built alienware, then by all means I prefer the inferior experience.

Nerd...

posted on 09 Nov 2011, 22:48

10. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5540; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)


i see the DS as a casual kind of system (aside from the Pokemon titles of course) and i get that itched scratched with my phone so i can see why Nintendo is failing and as for Sony, the PSP just plain sucks. i had a first gen one and after it broke i tried to fix it but i didn't find it worth replacing. the PSV however, that's more for Hardcore Gamers. i can see that selling, hell even i kind of want one. then there's Xbox LIVE support on Windows Phones kind of making them like it's portable solution. Microsoft was smart to do that. i still kind of want a Windows Phone but i need them to be so much more before i would buy one.

posted on 10 Nov 2011, 04:06

28. varsas (Posts: 11; Member since: 30 Sep 2011)


That's a very narrow view given the system is the home to huge number JPRGs that are the definition of hardcore gaming.

posted on 10 Nov 2011, 11:30

38. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5540; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)


what are you talking about?

posted on 09 Nov 2011, 22:57 2

11. Sniggly (Posts: 6697; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


Well now. I'm sure that iOS is the lion's share of that percentage, but Android is catching up. Many of the mainstream games available on iOS are available on Android now too, and Android has even scored a couple of exclusives like Minecraft, which by itself has been downloaded over 50,000 times-not bad for a game that costs 7 bucks up front.

posted on 10 Nov 2011, 00:27 1

15. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5540; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)


Minecraft is surely a great win for Android but most of the games made available from iOS to Android are just usually dumps from the App Store.

posted on 10 Nov 2011, 03:42

26. Gemmol (Posts: 490; Member since: 09 Nov 2011)


its true just ports, that is only thing sucks about having android but everything else we good

posted on 09 Nov 2011, 23:13

13. nameless1521 (Posts: 17; Member since: 06 Nov 2011)


Im sceptical about ios&android are taking over portable console market.

It's gonna ends up PC vs XBOX, PS3.

I woundn't take this seriously unless Pokemon is officially available for ios or android.

posted on 10 Nov 2011, 00:28 1

16. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5540; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)


omg that would be so much win. :D

posted on 10 Nov 2011, 05:25

30. Scuba_Steve (Posts: 79; Member since: 16 Oct 2011)


Love your enthusiasm haha

posted on 10 Nov 2011, 00:57 1

19. p0rkguy (Posts: 683; Member since: 23 Nov 2010)


PC > XBox + PS3 already.
Anybody that says otherwise is likely a weak gamer.
XBox + PS3 is like the iOS of console gaming. All users have the same set up and are limited to the hardware that is provided.
Unfortunately, PC technology advancements have been declining the past few years due to the limitations coming from XBox + PS3. God I hope this doesn't happen for mobile devices.

posted on 10 Nov 2011, 02:06

21. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5540; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)


so? i'm sure the Xbox has really juicy hardware to be able to do what it does. i don't want to know the specs exactly because some things i think should remain a mystery but what's the big deal about people playing games with the same set-up? what makes playing CoD on an Xbox any less than playing CoD on a PC? huh? tell me that. i think it's nice having a dedicated system for gaming especially gaming as immersive as it is on Xbox LIVE.

posted on 10 Nov 2011, 13:13

39. p0rkguy (Posts: 683; Member since: 23 Nov 2010)


That's even easier to respond to since you mentioned COD. COD is an FPS game and using an Xbox controller on an FPS game is just lol. FPS games are made on PC to begin with then dumbed down for controller compatibility. Consoles just don't capture the full gaming experience the company intends its users to. I'm sure I'm going to get attacked by anybody who plays on their Xbox more than their PC.
Also, it's great that people all have the same set up with consoles. It allows the company to easily push out games as there won't be any hassles with hardware compatibility and updates. Though it's probably the only thing console has over PC in gaming though.
Xbox's gpu is similar to the Radeon X1900s (from 2005) and with limited peripherals you can't really do much.

posted on 10 Nov 2011, 13:37

40. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5540; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)


xD whatever man, playing CoD on a controller feels better to me than playing with a mouse and keyboard.

posted on 10 Nov 2011, 10:37

37. EclipseGSX (Posts: 1551; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)


+1 for pokemon, an emulator just doesn\'t cut it sometimes

posted on 10 Nov 2011, 00:13

14. itsius1 (Posts: 49; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)


i doubt android or ios can play console freely without first considering battery life...

posted on 10 Nov 2011, 02:47

22. abdane (Posts: 474; Member since: 07 Oct 2011)


but how much is android and ios alone ? :D

posted on 10 Nov 2011, 03:33

23. ardent1 (Posts: 1991; Member since: 16 Apr 2011)


After I got my iPod Touch, I gave away all my Nintendo hardware and game library, my PSP 1000 and most of my PSP games (I kept my PSP 3000 and three of my favorite games). Here were the three main reasons:

1) Graphics -- retina display with Infinity Blade is just amazing
2) Web Browser -- both Nintendo and Sony have horrible browsers
3) The games are slow, slow, slow and I realized I was wasting too much time waiting for the processor to catch up. This includes boot time, wake from sleep

I would include battery life but when you have extended battery packs and extra batteries, that wasn't a problem anymore.

posted on 10 Nov 2011, 04:02

27. varsas (Posts: 11; Member since: 30 Sep 2011)


Although the DS and PSP have a reduced share it would be better if these charts were in the context of the overall market. In reality I don't think either have lost out as dramatically and the market has probably grown significantly due to mobile phone gaming.

posted on 10 Nov 2011, 05:25

29. Scuba_Steve (Posts: 79; Member since: 16 Oct 2011)


Still prefer a DS over the others. Yeah, the specs aren't the same but why do we still play N64, Genesis, atari? It's just feels right sometimes.

No phone can replace a DS because it doesn't have the same feel or even excitement. This is all me though.

posted on 10 Nov 2011, 08:34

33. Rayzin (Posts: 83; Member since: 27 Oct 2011)


There will always be room for portable gaming systems like Nintendo's and Sony's. Who is going to give their 6 year old kid a phone just so they can play portable games? Doesn't really make sense, but I suppose as people buy more and more smartphones then they could give their old ones to their children just for games (ie without a service contract on them at all). It will be interesting to see.

posted on 10 Nov 2011, 08:38

34. remixfa (Posts: 13902; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


Not so sure about the PSP, as its always been on shakey ground, but Nintendo will always have decent market share as long as it keeps making quality IP. It may shrink as people move to all in one devices, but not every parent wants their kid to have a cell phone bill. nintendo games may be a little more up front, but a few nintendo games are cheaper than a smart phone plan on their bill. As mobile data goes down in cost, that will only hurt nintendo, but i dont see them every being squeezed out of the market.

posted on 10 Nov 2011, 09:17

35. jdrevolution (Posts: 87; Member since: 07 Oct 2011)


I remember when people would vehemently argue that phones were NOT to ever be considered "mobile game platforms." Now look at where technology has brought us!
I think there will always be a place for portable consoles because, well, some people just like to have a physical d-pad.
With the latest models of phones coming out and developers making more and more games that run better, look better, and play better on phones, the turning of phones into mobile consoles is gaining ground.
And with the updates of gamestop starting to sell tablets I think it's going to become the norm sooner then we think!

Want to comment? Please login or register.

Latest stories