Capcom: Smartphones drawing users away from handheld consoles

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Train2Game students certainly spend a lot of time playing video games on their smartphones, and Capcom believe the whole portable market is moving in that direction.

Capcom Interactive’s president and COO Midori Yuasa told MCV Online that gamers are increasingly abandoning handheld consoles and PCs in order to play casual games on smartphones such as the iPhone. She also confirmed that Capcom is investing in a variety of titles for the iPhone this year.

“The casual gamer that used to play on the PC and the hardcore gamer that used to play on a dedicated gaming portable now plays on their smartphone,” said Yuasa.

“The iPhone and larger smartphone markets are extremely important to Capcom as, like no device before, smartphones have the potential to become a universal game platform.

“We have a lot of stuff on the horizon for both hardcore and casual gamers, so 2011 is shaping up to be huge on Capcom’s mobile front.”

The Capcom COO used the company’s successful release of the free to download Smurfs Village for the iPhone last November, where players have the option of in-game purchases which cost between £2.99 and £59.99.

“A freemium business model can be extremely effective as illustrated by the success of Smurfs’ Village. However, the key is that the game has to be designed from day one as a freemium title.

“If you try and shoehorn in an alternate revenue model into an existing design, you end up with a muddled experience that users either ignore or hammer with user reviews.”

It’s another sign for Train2Game students that the casual mobile market is growing extremely quickly. Yuasa’s comments come little over a month after the Train2Game blog reported that  market research firm  Interpret claimed ‘Stagnating’ handheld consoles are losing their market to smartphones

Of course, Nintendo are confident that the 3DS will be a huge success, with President Satoru Iwata predicting the handheld console will have a ‘rocket start’ For more information about the Nintendo 3DS, check out the Thoughts of Train2Game blog.

So Train2Game, do you think Midori Yuasa is right? Have you abandoned your handheld console in favour of smartphone games? Or do games on your iPhone or Android mean you just won’t bother to buy a handheld console again?

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

[Source: MCV Online]

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