The final quarter of the year’s sales are normally the best for devices such as the 3DS and VITA, thanks to all the package deals around Christmas time. This time however iOS and Android games completely eclipsed the games sales of the consoles.
A breakdown of the data also indicates that iOS games made three-and-a-half times more money than Android ones over the period but Android games are growing at a faster rate.
The data covers global sales between October and December 2012 and comes despite the fact that games for the PlayStation Vita and 3DS typically cost more than their smartphone equivalents. In-game ad revenues were excluded.
Despite the findings, the researchers said they believed the Japanese firms would release further handhelds.
The Portable Gaming Report by IDC and App Annie is the first of its kind produced by the companies. It helps build on NPD’s influential monthly study of US games sales which does not include smartphone and tablet games.
IDC’s Lewis Ward said “If you rewind the clock a year you will find the dedicated handhelds were clearly ahead, and this year they are more or less tied with an edge going to Android and iOS games.
“If we fast forward to the end of 2013 we should see a decisive edge for smartphone and tablet gaming.
“I think a further version of the Vita could be the last dedicated handheld from Sony, but I suspect Nintendo will continue for a while. They are three to four times as large as Sony in this business and I think they have a much more defensible niche.”
All this data is good news for Train2Game students as the mobile market is much easier to develop for than the console market and with the mobile market growing to even bigger and better heights there should be more chance of developing a financially successful game.