iOS And Android Games Are Killing Console Makers In Mobile [Report]



The console gaming industry has been suffering as of late, with companies like Nintendo reporting record losses and hardware price cuts. On the opposite side of the coin, the mobile game industry has skyrocketed to the forefront of innovation and user adoption, thanks largely to the mass distribution provided by the App Store.

A new report by Flurry Analytics shows how the iOS and Android platforms are absolutely dominating the US mobile game industry, with over half of the revenue in the US coming from the App Store and Android Market.

2011 has been a pivotal year for mobile gaming. In 2010, the Nintendo DS accounted for a staggering 57% of mobile revenue, while iOS and Android only took 34%. This year, the situation has flipped, with iOS and Android stealing a whopping 58% of revenue in the US. Sony’s mobile game revenue has continued to shrink since 2009.

Nintendo has refused to make games for smartphones and coincidentally reported its first net loss in history. The DS has seen multiple price drops, and the CEO took a 50% salary cut after the most recent drop. Sony is trying to get in on the action with products like the Xperia Play, but the company has yet to set its sights on monetizing titles in the App Store.

iOS and Android’s success can be attributed to a multitude of factors. Freemium games continue to revolutionize the way game developers make money in the App Store, and titles are generally much cheaper when compared with console prices. Apple added an incredible boost in graphics performance with the iPhone 4S, and mobile processors are starting to allow for console-quality games on a smartphone or tablet device.

Companies like Sony and Nintendo need to decide quickly whether or not to jump ship completely and sink, or start developing for iOS and Android. There’s only so much space left that the App Store hasn’t cannibalized.

Imagine what the chart will look like next year.

  • mlahero

    The stats are impressive but it doesn’t get around that horrible reality; gaming on a touch screen sucks balls.

  • Michael Vlaming

    That will never change the fact that the gaming experience on iOS or Android is largely mediocre.

  • imagremlin

    I reallly want to think that traditional handheld gaming will survive. Mobile phone gaming is just not as satisfying for me. It may be wishful thinking though.

    On one hand, I’ll like to point out that the market has expanded. Most of those mobile players were not playing on traditional portables. So the user base for traditional mobiles stays somewhat stable for the moment. Problem is that new gamers may lean towards the iPod touch from the get go, making this userbase dwindle over time.

    On the other hand, publisher will follow the money, which may spell doom to traditional handhelds anyways.

    I dread the day Angry Birds may be considered a AAA title.

  • Shyam Sundar

    I think most of the general population, who are not hardcore gamers would just be happy with iOS or android games. They wouldn’t want to carry another gaming device with them. Only those who are hardcore gamers are going to continue have another gaming device with them…

  • Shyam Sundar

    I think most of the general population, who are not hardcore gamers would just be happy with iOS or android games. They wouldn’t want to carry another gaming device with them. Only those who are hardcore gamers are going to continue have another gaming device with them…

  • Connor Mulcahey

    I wouldn’t use mediocre, casual would fit better. And the portable consoles would be “hard core”

  • ericthehalfbee

    Why do they lump iOS and Android into one group? So they don’t need one of those pointers to the slice you can barely see? To make Android feel like they’re equally responsible (with iOS) for taking share from Nintendo and Sony?

  • iDaBoss

    because that wasn’t the point…

  • Ronald Stepp

    My heart bleeds for them.  If their (Sony/Nintendo) games cost too much or are not as much fun as iOS games, well then, nobody said we have to buy from Sony or Nintendo.  My money goes where I get the most fun for my buck.

  • Ronald Stepp

    15 billion dollar payout to iOS app developers from apple last year isn’t a particularly powerful endorsement of your claim that the experience is “mediocre.”

  • CharliK

    it depends in part on what you call ‘gaming experience’. 

    many folks are just fine with the mobile games they have. Enough that they aren’t buying consoles and consoles games. which is rather the point. as more and more kids are happy with the iPad etc they won’t be asking for a DS or PSP. 

    what is crazy is that companies like Nintendo could possibly revive interest in their major game titles by embracing, not shunning, mobile. Take something like Super Mario Bros 1. 2d, simple controller etc. Perfect for the iPad. heck they already have it in Flash and could probably covert it to Air rather easy. Sell it for $4.99 and the 35-40 years olds that grew up on it would buy it. their kids would see it etc. who knows it could be the gateway drug to them wanting a Wii etc to play the fancier 3d titles. 

  • baby_Twitty

    I’ve said this MANY TIMES before, and i’ll say it again.

    All Sony or Nintendo has to do, is to add a PHONE into their PSP/3DS.
    All problems will be solved.

    Consumers want convenience….

    Think it’s not viable? Just look at what apple did to the iPod in 2007, they added a phone and out  came the iPhone.

    Apple didn’t even purchase any major phone company, like what Google did with Motorola and Microsoft’s ties with Nokia.

    Just go to China or Taiwan, take over a start up GSM phone company and integrate it into your PSP/3DS. 

    How hard can that be?

  • Andyle604

    I agree. I’m a casual gamer (I play hardcore games but less than an hour a day) and no chance in hell would I carry a Nintendo DS or PSP with me. However, wherever my I go my iPhone goes with me

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