Revenue from iOS, Android gaming apps now three times greater than portable consoles
The trend that's seen portable gaming shifting largely to devices like Apple's iPhone continues apace, according to a new report that pegs revenue from gaming on iOS and Android devices at three times the size of revenue on dedicated portable gaming consoles.
In the first quarter of 2013, revenues for iOS gaming rose significantly, while revenues for Nintendo and Sony's dedicated portable consoles dropped due to seasonal effects, according to a study published by IDC and App Annie. The study's findings do not include ad revenue.
Apple's iOS led in overall gaming revenue generation for the quarter, outpacing Google's Android in as it already does in terms of overall revenue. Google's Play Store continued to see its revenues grow, though, and it is expected that Google Play will move ahead of gaming-optimized handhelds in terms of revenue generation some time in the second quarter.
The study found that gaming still forms the foundation for both app stores. In both the App Store and Google Play, games accounted for roughly 40 percent of all downloads, up slightly from the quarter previous. The report has games making up roughly 70 percent of iOS App Store spending and more than 80 percent of Google Play spending.
The study's findings put into stark relief the growing importance of mobile devices in the gaming segment, a trend that has the traditional gaming companies scrambling to adjust. The emergence of Apple's iPhone on the gaming scene sparked an exodus of casual gamers from the dedicated portable console market, as those consumers found that one device could handle both their gaming and communication needs.
In response, portable gaming's two giants, Sony and Nintendo, have been looking to retool operations. Sony recently cut the price of its PlayStation Vita portable console, in the hopes that doing so would attract more buyers in its native country of Japan. The electronics giant also courted developers for the PS Vita by offering free developer tools.
Nintendo has fared better in the portable segment after cutting the price on its 3DS console. The shift toward devices like Apple's iPad, though, has meant trouble for Nintendo's new Wii U console. In response, the longtime gaming fixture has also begun courting developers in hopes that they will bring their best selling smartphone games to the touch-capable Wii U.