Mobile Gaming Speeds Past Competition

Posted: October 14, 2012 in Trends

Most people would consider the Iphone and Ipod touch to be innovative devices that offer great music and video playback. But what they don’t usually realize that those devices are the most popular gaming platforms in history.  In truth, Apple’s Iphone and Ipod touch along with all the Android devices are heading the monumental movement to make gaming portable.

The Numbers:

According to a study conducted by the industry analyst website Asymco, the number of Apple IOS devices sold -over 410 million devices- far exceeds the number of Nintendo Wii’s, Xbox 306’s and Playstation 3’s combined. And that’s not even counting Android devices! Of course some may argue that mobile devices are primarily for multimedia content instead of gaming. But when you examine the App store’s top sellers the majority of apps are games.

On the software side, mobile gaming is also dominant over traditional consoles. Take one of the most acclaimed console video game series Call of Duty for example. As of 2011, the nine year old Call of Duty franchise have sold a total of about 100 million copies of their games across all platforms (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Call_of_Duty). Comparatively, the Angry Birds franchise, released just three years ago in 2009 celebrated the 1 billionth download of their games in May 2012 (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angry_Birds).

The Cause: 

Though the cause of mobile gaming’s success can be attributed a various reasons, the most prominent reason has been the integration of internet connectivity and its social implications. In the past, portable gaming devices like the Nintendo DS and Gameboy have enjoyed a fair amount of success but have never exploded in popularity as we see today with mobile gaming on phones. The main difference between Nintendo’s devices and Apple’s I-devices is the online experience. Sure the Nintendo DS advertised internet connectivity, but much of the time its simple online interaction was too primitive compared to the advanced online capabilities of IOS. Speaking of which, Apple’s Game Center, the official social gaming platform of IOS just reached 130 million user with a projected growth to 200 million users by the end of the year. Reaching 200 million will be a huge achievement because in all of video gaming history, there has yet to be a platform to sell 200 million consoles.

Following current trends mobile gaming will gain a tremendous lead over traditional consoles. Recently consoles have begun to retaliate with social networking clients of their own but such efforts are futile because of the physical constraints of consoles. To access such networks, players must sit down, and power up their consoles to receive the latest updates on their friends. In contrast, mobile gaming updates are continuous and easily accessible from virtually anywhere. As people purchase more smartphones and sign up for data plans, the fight for gaming dominance will be come even more of an uphill battle for consoles while mobile gaming will cruise right on by.

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