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Wednesday, July 27, 2011, 03:00 pm PT (06:00 pm ET)

Electronic Arts: Apple iPad "our fastest growing platform" for gaming

EA chief executive John Riccitiello declared Apple's iPad its fastest growing gaming platform, noting that dedicated gaming consoles have slipped from 80 percent to representing just 40 percent of the game industry.

In an interview published by IndustryGamers, Riccitiello said the traditional cycle of new generations of gaming consoles that appear every five years is "not a particularly smart way to run an industry," in contrast to the model of Apple's iOS App Store, which supports continuous development that supports EA "putting out software every 90 days."

After noting the sharply diminished share of the gaming industry that traditional gaming consoles represent, in contrast to the rapid expansion of gaming revenues connected to Apple's iPad platform, Riccitiello also downplayed the value of hardware power to drive game sales.

"I would argue that there’s more to be provided in terms of value for the consumer in micro-transactions and social experiences and driving those better in cross-platform gameplay between a console and a PC and a handheld device and a social network than there is supercharging graphics," Riccitiello said.

Last spring, Flurry Analytics reported that Apple's share of the US video game software market had grown by 500 percent.

However, as the iPad began to gain traction, game developers quickly began to report astonishing growth and support from customers, with one major developer noting its iPad launch as being "by far" the fastest selling and highest revenue generating game platform, thanks to promotion by Apple.

Since then, Apple's launch of iPad 2 resulted in a major leap in performance for games, which Epic Games' developer Tim Sweeney contrasted with conventional game consoles, describing "a 10-20x leap in performance every 7-8 years" for consoles, compared to the 9x leap Apple claimed for the iPad 2 in just one annual refresh.

Lion