Tablets and smartphones are turning handheld gaming devices into a niche
A new study from ABI Analysis located that Sony and Nintendo are struggling against the rise of smartphones and tablets in gaming. The two firms are expected to ship more than 38 million handheld gaming devices in 2013, a number considerably lower than the prior peak of 47 million units in 2008. Shipments following 2013 are expected to continue to decline, and the firm says handheld gaming devices will only survive as a niche, even though smartphone and tablet sales continue to increase. “Mobile devices will compete with dedicated handheld gaming devices, but pick consumer segments like core gamers and these folks who do not want or have a smartphone or tablet will still give some demand,” senior ABI analyst Michael Inouye said. “The addition of mobile gaming is not necessarily a zero sum circumstance in truth, numerous feel there is a lot of room in the gaming market place for both transportable and mobile gaming.” Read on for ABI Research’s press release.
Handheld Gaming Devices in Downward Spiral to Niche Status Thanks to Tablets and Mobile Devices
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – June 7, 2012
Over 38 million handheld gaming devices from Sony and Nintendo are expected to ship in 2013 –a maximum that is considerably lower than the prior peak of 47 million units in 2008. Unit shipments following 2013 are expected to decline slightly, but devoted handheld gaming devices are a sustainable niche, with forecasts reasonably flat by means of 2017. Smartphone and tablet use for gaming continues to expand, creating the mobile gaming marketplace an increasingly crucial companion to dedicated handheld gaming.
Senior analyst Michael Inouye comments, “Mobile devices will compete with devoted handheld gaming devices, but pick consumer segments like core gamers and these individuals who do not want or have a smartphone or tablet will nonetheless provide some demand. The addition of mobile gaming is not necessarily a zero sum scenario in reality, numerous feel there is a lot of space in the gaming industry for both portable and mobile gaming.”
Following an initially powerful 1Q 2011 launch, Nintendo’s 3DS experienced a far weaker second quarter, prompting the company to substantially lower the price tag of the handheld (from ~$ 249 to ~$ 170). The lower price tag, with additional titles, spurred sales to over 15 million by way of the 2011 calendar year. In late 2011, Sony launched the Vita in Japan with a wider launch in February 2012 to decent sales, though the cost may well prove an situation for Sony as effectively, in spite of drastically more robust hardware.
Inouye adds, “The mobile and tablet markets have increased consumers’ price tag sensitivity. First party developers and important game franchises will be vital cogs for the sector in the future, since hardware alone is not going to cut it given the shorter upgrade cycles for mobile devices.” Current announcements at E3 from Nintendo and Microsoft, coupled with past mobile-centric initiatives by Sony, make clear that mobile experiences will be integrated into “dedicated” gaming experiences (both console and portable).