‘Stagnating’ handheld consoles losing market to smartphones

Angry Birds Android Train2Game blog

Yet more evidence has emerged that shows Train2Game designers, developers and artists would do well to work on mobile games in the future.

A report from market research firm Interpret shows that consumers playing games on their phone has increased dramatically, while gamers appear to be abandoning their DS and PSP devices.

“The proliferation of highly multifunctional smartphones and messaging phones is a very real threat to the dominance by the DS and PSP of the handheld gaming market,” said Interpret research and analysis manager Courtney Johnson

The report, which is based on a survey of 9000 people, says that 43.8% of the phone, Nintendo DS and DS PSP gaming market plays games on phones—a significant 53.2% increase over the past year—while the proportion of those who play on the DS or PSP has fallen by 13%. In fact 27% of people who own both a smart phone and a PSP or Nintendo DS, say that they don’t even use their handheld console anymore, preferring to play games on their smartphones.

The ever increasing library of mobile games for both iPhone and Android means that there’s more and more choice when it comes to choosing a game to play on the go. It also means that there’s a chance that Train2Game students could help develop a mobile game that could eventually fall into the hands of millions of people.

Evidence of this can be seen in a post on the Train2Game blog last month which shows that over three million people have downloaded Cut the Rope from the iPhone App store since it was released at the beginning of October. Of course, the increase in mobile gaming isn’t just limited to the iPhone, with plenty being available for Google’s Android phones.

Google recently revealed Android 2.3 which they say will take mobile gaming to the next level. Interested Train2Game students – especially game developers who’d like to produce games for the OS nicknamed gingerbread – can find out more about Android 2.3 in this post on the Train2Game blog, which comes complete with video.

Gaming giants Nintendo and Sony will be hoping new developments with their handhelds can help them fend off the increasing popularity of mobile gaming.  The Nintendo 3DS is set for release early next year, with a large number of exclusive games being developed in 3D as you can see in this Train2Game blog post from earlier this year.

Meanwhile, Sony will be hoping to attract consumers to the PSP with Square Enix bringing four exclusive games to the handheld console next year. Of course, if you’ve read the Thoughts of Train2Game blog recently, you’ll know that there are increasing rumours of a PlayStation phone which could encourage PlayStation fans to ditch their iPhones.

Any Train2Game students interested in the full report can see it here.

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on the increasing number of people playing games on their smartphones? Is it really that big a threat to the PSP and the Nintendo DS? What systems do you use for handheld games?

As usual, you can leave your thoughts here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

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