Gamers spend more money on iOS than dedicated handhelds

By on May 17, 2013, 10:45 AM
android, ios, app store, nintendo 3ds, gaming, playstation vita, google play

For a long time we've heard chatter suggesting that smartphone gaming could pose a serious threat to dedicated handheld devices like the Nintendo 3DS and Sony PlayStation Vita. A new report from App Annie shows that these claims might be substantiated after all, as gamers actually spent more money on iOS games than dedicated games in the first quarter of 2013.

The chart below breaks down consumer spending for games on iOS, Google Play, and gaming-centric handhelds during the fourth quarter of 2012 and first quarter of 2013. As you can see, dedicated gaming devices suffered a significant decline between the two quarters. But while this responds to normal seasonal patterns, as gamer spending tends to go up over the holiday period and drop in Q1, the interesting part is that the amount spent on iOS games in Q1 was higher than dedicated handhelds during the holiday season peak.

Google Play also experienced quite a bit of growth, finishing just slightly below video game handhelds in Q1. It was well behind iOS but it's still quite an impressive amount of growth over a very short period of time. App Annie predicts that consumer spending on Google Play will pass gaming handhelds in the second quarter of 2013.

The 3DS and PS Vita have had a slower start than the previous generation of handhelds. With the Vita's heavy integration into the upcoming PlayStation 4, it will be interesting to see if that causes a spike in the popularity of the handheld. For the time being, it looks like gamers are leaning towards playing on their smartphones and tablets, which is a scary proposition for Sony and Nintendo.




User Comments: 8

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1 person liked this | m4a4 m4a4 said:

**Casual gamers

There might be some actual gamers in that total, but we all know that it mostly casual.

1 person liked this | Guest said:

What's a dedicated handheld? I'm surprised these are still in existence.

hahahanoobs hahahanoobs said:

Dedicated handheld devices games are bigger, more expensive, and come in the form of cartridges and mini discs, and when PSP attempted going disc-less with the GO, the internal storage amount was not enough. The devices are usually not small enough to be conveniently kept in your pocket.

Smartphone/tablet games look just as good or better than current dedicated handheld games, they are smaller, cheaper, can be updated, use internal storage, and are installed on a device you already carry.

Sony and Nintendo should be EXTREMELY worried.

Then came the nVIDIA Shield. A dedicated handheld done right. If it fails, I think dedicated handhelds are finished, and the remaining option would be for nVIDIA, Nintendo and Sony to come out with "gaming branded" phones/tablets, and try for some exclusive titles, as done by consoles. Other than that, it's over.

Edit: Almost forgot... the amount of developers and titles, as well as compatibility on mobile devices.

theBest11778 theBest11778 said:

Dedicated handheld devices games are bigger, more expensive, and come in the form of cartridges and mini discs, and when PSP attempted going disc-less with the GO, the internal storage amount was not enough. The devices are usually not small enough to be conveniently kept in your pocket.

Smartphone/tablet games look just as good or better than current dedicated handheld games, they are smaller, cheaper, can be updated, use internal storage, and are installed on a device you already carry.

Sony and Nintendo should be EXTREMELY worried.

Then came the nVIDIA Shield. A dedicated handheld done right. If it fails, I think dedicated handhelds are finished, and the remaining option would be for nVIDIA, Nintendo and Sony to come out with "gaming branded" phones/tablets, and try for some exclusive titles, as done by consoles. Other than that, it's over.

Agreed

Ravik Ravik said:

Both Sony and Nintendo could maintain a foothold in the dedicated handheld sector IF they started pairing their devices with their home console platforms. I've said this a couple of times on this site, but if consumers could use their 3DS with their Nintendo Wii-U or their PS Vita with their PS3/PS4, then there could very well be a reason to buy those vs. the onslought of alternatives.

And I agree with m4a4...these statistics are definitely casual-gamer driven.

ReederOnTheRun ReederOnTheRun said:

Dedicated handheld devices games are bigger, more expensive, and come in the form of cartridges and mini discs, and when PSP attempted going disc-less with the GO, the internal storage amount was not enough. The devices are usually not small enough to be conveniently kept in your pocket.

Smartphone/tablet games look just as good or better than current dedicated handheld games, they are smaller, cheaper, can be updated, use internal storage, and are installed on a device you already carry.

Sony and Nintendo should be EXTREMELY worried.

Then came the nVIDIA Shield. A dedicated handheld done right. If it fails, I think dedicated handhelds are finished, and the remaining option would be for nVIDIA, Nintendo and Sony to come out with "gaming branded" phones/tablets, and try for some exclusive titles, as done by consoles. Other than that, it's over.

Edit: Almost forgot... the amount of developers and titles, as well as compatibility on mobile devices.

Not to mention people feel much less nerdy playing a "casual" game on a smartphone than dragging around a dedicated handheld :-P

ET3D, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Both Sony and Nintendo could maintain a foothold in the dedicated handheld sector IF they started pairing their devices with their home console platforms. I've said this a couple of times on this site, but if consumers could use their 3DS with their Nintendo Wii-U or their PS Vita with their PS3/PS4, then there could very well be a reason to buy those vs. the onslought of alternatives.

And Microsoft would make a killing by offering to pair the Xbox with any mobile phone or tablet. Not that I'm really sure what kind of benefit using these devices together has. Sure, the Wii U's tablet functionality is nice, but I haven't seen it convince too many gamers.

And I agree with m4a4...these statistics are definitely casual-gamer driven.

As if Nintendo sales aren't dominated by Animal Crossing, Nintendogs and Pokimon...

Ravik Ravik said:

And Microsoft would make a killing by offering to pair the Xbox with any mobile phone or tablet. Not that I'm really sure what kind of benefit using these devices together has....

There would be a lot of merit to doing this from the standpoint of a universal controller, actually. Logitech recently released something like this if I recall, but it was limited to devices that could be enabled using wireless technologies.

Personally, I think this is another overlooked opportunity--though I suspect the reality behind seeing this one isn't too far off.

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