How Mobile Games Kill Handheld Consoles


Sony has promised its fans a brand new portable PlayStation. But the launch of such a product has been put off for now. The PSP was a huge hit, but was followed by a moderately successful PS Vita. The PS Vita 2 might not make it to the stores at all, due to the “unfriendly” climate on the gaming market dominated by smartphones.

Nintendo has seen a similar trend with its portable consoles. The DS was a huge success, but the following models were all sold in lower numbers. Rumors circulated by certain Japanese publications suggest that Nintendo’s latest handheld console, the Wii U, might be discontinued by the end of this year. Nintendo has in turn shifted focus toward mobile games, releasing its first title recently – to a major success.

A lot has changed on the gaming market in the last few years. Smartphones have become larger, more powerful, and better at gaming. The number of free games, from slot machines at to social titles with a Facebook connection has long ago overtaken consoles, both full size and portable. With such a huge collection – and variety – of mobile games it’s not a surprise that portable console sales are falling.

The smartphone is the perfect device for a casual gamer. It’s connected to the internet, so even multiplayer is not a problem. It has a large, high definition screen, perfect for playing games and watching videos. Most smartphones have strong CPUs and high performance GPUs, and are capable of showing graphics that match those on certain desktop consoles. Besides, they can even be used as a phone, to keep in touch with friends – and in multiple ways.

According to Newzoo, the mobile gaming market will generate revenues worth over $35 billion this year, with its gamer base growing to over 1.9 billion globally. New markets, like Brazil and India, will open up further for smartphone manufacturers – and content providers as well. The ease of access to authoring tools and information – not to mention the revenue streams – has turned mobile the platform of choice for most game developers. Smartphones have the power and the content to be a huge hit this year and beyond.

Compared to what today’s smartphones can offer, portable consoles are a bit too limited. And they are expensive, too. A PS Vita is currently sold for $200 – the price of a mid-range smartphone. And it has nowhere near as much free content and functionality as an average Android device. While handheld consoles are still successful in certain markets – like in Japan, for example – their dominance of portable gaming has disappeared in other areas of the world.


Related Posts

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>