iOS and Android Grab 58% of U.S. Portable Gaming Revenue


Mobile analytics firm Flurry today reports on the continuing shift in portable gaming from dedicated devices to smartphones and other multipurpose devices. According to results compiled by Flurry from NPD market research and Flurry's own mobile app data, Apple's iOS and Google's Android mobile operating systems will account for 58% of portable gaming revenue in the United States for 2011, an almost exact flip-flop from 2010 when dedicated device leaders Nintendo and Sony held 57% of the market.

The most striking trend is that iOS and Android games have tripled their market share from roughly 20% in 2009 to nearly 60% in just two years. Simultaneously, Nintendo, the once dominant player, has been crushed down to owning about one-third of market in 2011, from having controlled more than two-thirds in 2009. Combined, iOS and Android game revenue delivered $500 million, $800 million and $1.9 billion over 2009, 2010 and 2011, respectively.

Flurry's data for 2011 is based on estimates for the final two months of the year, but suggests that the rapid growth in gaming on smartphone platforms is showing no signs of slowing. The market dynamics of free or low-cost games sometimes supplemented by in-app purchases and played on multi-function devices versus dedicated gaming devices with relatively high-cost game titles are clearly playing out in favor of iOS and Android. The result has been a surging gaming market increasingly attracting casual gamers willing to spend a few dollars to play on their phones, while established players have seen not only their shares but also their revenue declining each year.

Nintendo has been resisting increasing pressure to bring its games to the iPhone and other platforms, sticking by its long-standing tradition of making its games exclusive to its own hardware. Flurry suggests that the rapidly-shifting landscape of portable gaming may soon bring Nintendo face-to-face with a "Nokia-like" decision whether to jump over to smartphone platforms or watch its business erode away.

Top Rated Comments

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114 months ago
Why combine iOS and Android when talking revenue? We all know the bulk of paid apps are iOS.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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114 months ago
I just saw a job posting for an analyst.

Requirements:
1)Can type
2)Alive and breathing
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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114 months ago
I am not surprised.

With more & more people using a smartphone these days, be it on iOS or Android, & with lots of chances of buying games at prices for as low as $0.99 & sometimes even free (of course through legal channels such as iTunes), I doubt many people would be interested in paying like $29.99-$39.99 for new titles on the Nintendo DS &/or Sony PSP gaming platforms, except for exclusive games such as Mario Kart & so on.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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114 months ago
The dawn of the indy game developer. This is poetic justice.

Anyone that's ever looked into developing for PSP, Nintendo DS or the Nintendo/Sony consoles understands what a true walled garden looks like...
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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114 months ago
You know what? I say this as some one who uses her iPhone as a "gameboy" and doesn't have any dedicated portable game player (and doesn't plan on getting one).

Do you guys cheering for iphone/android to win and Nintendo and PSP to go obsolete think that's really a good thing for us who do like gaming on our iphone?

Really?

Think about it. iPhone/android games can not charge much for the game cause no one will pay it.

Therefore the games we get are either going to be ones that they aren't going to spend a lot of resources making (Angry Birds), or, here is where it is important that Nintendo/PSP stay around, ports of games from Nintendo/PSP.

Or alternatively forced to find some other way of making money... like say all the freemium crap. Go look at Let's Golf 3 or GT + by Gameloft if you want to see the future of games that companies spend more resources developing so have to make the money back. They're not cheap (you realize both games have packages that are 100 dollars to pay for and honestly if you play a lot you'll end up spending that much and more?), they cheapen gameplay though (paying to advance cheapens gameplay over *playing* to advance. Your reward is not even gotten by playing the game and comes too easy and you lose motivation for playing).

So... the fact that iPhone and Android are doing so well in gaming seems good at first until you look at long term affects.

What I'd be cheering for is all of them to do well (and iphone to do well enough to encourage them to send some ports over of the popular games. Kinda like squaresoft is doing a lot :) ). And for people to rebel against freemium and realize paying a little more upfront is a helluva lot better than emptying your pockets over time for a game that just isn't as rewarding.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
114 months ago

I just saw a job posting for an analyst.

Requirements:
1)Can type
2)Alive and breathing


Funny :D but these are actual sales and data numbers compiled and not some joe trying to predict the future.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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