Goodbye to the PSP, DS, Vita and More? Android and iOS Have Sold More Games

goodbyeThe handheld video games market has for decades been dominated by companies that specialize in video games – Nintendo’s Gameboy, Gameboy Advance and Nintendo DS and 3DS, as well as Sony’s PSP and Vita. But now the handheld games market has been taken over by Android and iOS, which have both sold more games than Nintendo and Sony. What’s happened to the games market, and what exactly is it that Android and iOS have done so well?

The Stats

It started with Apple pulling in more revenue from the industry for handheld games, notes the second quarterly report from App Annie. Android may be behind, but Android’s gaming revenue is still far ahead of handheld consoles – as a matter of fact, Android and iOS gaming revenue was almost three times greater than that of handheld consoles specifically designed for games.

How Did It Happen?

One big reason why many games are no longer being sold for handheld systems is that they are being ported from these previous platforms to iOS. This may account for Apple’s enormous lead in the handheld gaming market, where now Nintendo DS games such as Scribblenauts, Ace Attorney, The World Ends With You, and Grand Theft Auto are now available for download on Apple mobile devices.

The second reason may well just boil down to common sense. Why own a gaming-specific device when you already have access to a mobile device that will do the same thing and more? Additionally, Apple’s new iOS 7 has introduced new third-party standards for gaming controllers, creating some incredible possibilities for handheld gaming. Simply put, Apple has figured out its competition, and Android is not far behind.

Do you think handheld gaming consoles are on the way out, or can Sony and Nintendo adapt to the changing game market? 

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Tree is a somewhat nomadic graduate student pursuing an MFA in Poetry and Literary Translation from Drew University. A self-identified “diplobrat,” she spent over 16 years living as an expat in countries like Guatemala, Bolivia, and Tanzania. Tree graduated from Smith College in 2012 with a degree in Spanish Language and Literature, a minor in Studio Art, and a concentration in Landscape Studies. In between writing poetry for school and content for CEM, she dabbles in goat herding and freelancing. Other interests include reading, watercolor painting, gardening, and traveling.

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