nintendo-3ds-flame-redWith more than half of us now sporting smartphones, more and more people can purchase and play mobile games. That means you don’t have to own a Nintendo 3DS or PlayStation Vita to game on the go, and new data reveals how exactly that’s hurting the traditional handheld gaming companies.

App Annie and IDC just posted its second quarter “Portable Gaming Spotlight,” which found that consumer spending on games in the App Store and Google Play rose to four times that of handheld consoles.

And for the first time ever, game spending on Google Play alone surpassed handheld game revenue. Games also represented more than 40 percent of app downloads and 70 percent of app revenue in both app stores.

App Annie’s data isn’t straight from the companies, so take this with a grain of salt. It’s still a sign that people are spending more time playing games on their phones than on a 3DS or Vita.

However, hardware and software sales from Nintendo’s 3DS were actually up from the previous quarter, helping the company pad struggling Wii U sales.

On Tuesday, Sony dropped the price of the Vita to $199 in hopes of boosting sales.

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  • Guest

    I had a man research game costs and I was literally shocked by his finding. Nintendo 3DS is said to cost $170 for the hardware, only about $30 less than iPhone 5, and games are said to cost upwards of $30 each! For the same capabilities as iPhone 5 and 15 games costing $0.99 each, I’d have to spend $620.

    I’m frankly not surprised that gamers are spending more on their ‘phones than on their ‘soles. Who would splash $620 into a portable platform that can’t even make phone calls, send text messages or emails, or surf the web using a Webkit-based browser whilst I’m not in a gaming mood?

    • Anthony Franqui

      30 million people have already.

      • Guest

        That’s good. Pardon me a moment.

        (Lifts phone) “Hi, Siri. Got a guy, Anthony, here.”

        Siri replies, “Hi, Anthony. How may I process you?”

        “He says that 30 million men own 3DS. How many men own iPhone?”

        “Let me look that up,” she offers coquettishly. After a few seconds, she replies, “during the 4.5 year lifespan of the iPhone there have been 146,034,000 sold.”

        “Wow, that’s alot,” I reply. “Is that more or fewer than 30,000,000?”

        “Just a moment.” After a brief pause, “According to WolframAlpha, 146,034,000 is greater than 30,000,000.”

        “Good,” I continue. “Now what about Android? I know we’ve spoken of them before, but how many Android devices have been activated?”

        “I’m looking that up,” says Siri. She continues, “As of the 2013 Google I/O conference, 900 million Android devices have been activated. There are now 1.5 million Android activations every day.”

        “Wow!” I reply. “Those is some big numbers. So if there are 30 million 3DS units in the world today, how long would it take Android to match that?”

        “Hang on I am looking for that,” Siri replies. “You’ll need to unlock your iPhone first.” I do so. “If there are 30 million 3DS units,” she continues, “and Android has 1.5 million activations per day, Android will surpass 3DS in approximately 19.999984938722 days.”

        “Thank you, Siri,” I offer, putting the phone down. “You may resume my podcast.”

        • Anthony Franqui

          I just answered the question but that was very (un)funny condescending sketch(?)

          But like a few after have said, with a fraction of the sales of the IOS/Mobile market they are still making comparable money.

          • Guest

            “Siri, how have camera phones affected the standalone cam market?”

          • Anthony Franqui

            Why don’t you ask her to help you with some of your skits?

    • Wayne Beck

      The iPhone is not designed for playing games. The vast majority of cell phone games are simple albeit addicting games with no attempt at depth. Most people play puzzle games on their cellphones, not action adventure games or first person shooters. The only reason Mobile gaming appears to be crushing handheld gaming is because the vast majority of people video games are marketed to already have a cellphone. It has nothing to do with whether or not people want to buy handhelds. They clearly do or the 3DS would not have sold 30 million units. In the end, all that really matters is Nintendo still turns a profit on handheld games. Something everyone said was impossible up against smartphones.

    • Tess

      The 3DS doesn’t require you to pay a large sum of money to a carrier every month for 2 years. Without that, an iPhone is considerably more expensive. Of course, there’s also the iPod Touch, which starts at $229.

      And a single DS game has was more depth than 15 $0.99 phone games. Also, most of the games that make a lot of money on phones now are freemium games where you can either play a little bit for free or play a lot and pay a lot for the privilege — often more than $30 over time, because you have to keep paying.

  • Stealth

    who cares it has nothing to do with quality.

    Also the study is done by a company co owned by apple. They are bias.

  • Stealth

    “It’s still a sign that people are spending more time playing games on their phones than on a 3DS or Vita.”

    We dont know that

  • Fenton

    I downloaded GTA3 on an iphone once…. what an awful experience.

    The same game on a old Playstation2? A masterpiece.

  • trytiped

    This article is laffable your comparing to something everyone uses and needs everyday to something people want no shit its gonna sell more your article just shines light on just how stupid america is with their money.

  • john dazen

    You have a great way with words as shown in your article.
    You’re even good with informational content like you have here. I
    like your views and your writing technique. Who hunts and captures endangered animals
    Dungeon only to fulfill his personal greed.

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