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Apple's iOS & Google Android command 58% of US portable game revenue

post #1 of 46
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Highlighting what has been a "brutal" year for dedicated portable game machines like the Sony PlayStation Portable and Nintendo DS, new data shows Apple's iOS and Google Android capturing the lion's share of U.S. portable game revenue in 2011.

Mobile analytics firm Flurry revealed on Wednesday that free and inexpensive games from iOS and Android devices have taken control of the portable gaming market. Together, Google and Apple's platforms controlled 58 percent of revenue in 2011, a significant change from 2009 when the Nintendo DS commanded 70 percent of the portable industry's revenue.

"We see, for the first time, that smartphone revenue in the U.S. has leap-frogged portable game revenue," said Peter Farago, vice president of marketing with Flurry. "The disruption has been downright brutal."

The data comes soon after Nintendo reported its first loss in profits since 1982. A sharp decline in game and console sales led the Japanese game maker to lose $925 million over the six-month period ending in September.

Flurry estimates that total U.S. portable game revenue in 2011 will be $3.3 billion, up from a total of $2.7 billion in 2009. But while iOS and Android accounted for just 19 percent of the market in 2009, their share of revenue has more than tripled in the last two years.

Nintendo, meanwhile, has seen its market dominance shrink to just an estimated 36 percent of the U.S. portable gaming market in 2011, while Sony's PlayStation Portable platform is expected to represent 6 percent domestically.

"The days of paying $25, or more, for a cartridge at a retail store may soon end," Farago said. "Further, the installed base of iOS and Android devices has not only reached critical mass, but also continues to grow at unprecedented rates."

Flurry's data is based on a combination of publicly available data from the NPD Group along with its own data collected from mobile devices. Flurry Analytics tracks more than 20 billion use sessions per month across more than 125,000 applications on 330 million unique devices per month. Nearly 40 percent of the application usage sessions it tracks are from games.



The success of smartphones as gaming devices has prompted investors to encourage Nintendo to bring its popular game franchises, like Mario and Zelda, to competing platforms like the iPhone and iPad. However, Nintendo executives have refused to port their software to third-party devices and are sticking with their own hardware for first-party games.

Apple's iOS devices may even begin to encroach on traditional living room consoles as well, thanks to the new wireless AirPlay functionality built into iOS 5. With an Apple TV hooked up to a high-definition television set, an A5-powered iPhone 4S or iPad 2 can wirelessly stream content and allow users to play games on the big screen, as Firemint has done with its Real Racing franchise.
post #2 of 46
my wife and i have iphones and an ipad 2. she was talking about a nintendo DS for the older kid. i said no way i'm spending $40 or more on games. especially with the insanity that some games you can only play once
post #3 of 46
Why is iOS and Android lumped together but the PSP and the DS are separate? Is there a breakdown of these numbers somewhere?
post #4 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by SmileyDude View Post

Why is iOS and Android lumped together but the PSP and the DS are separate? Is there a breakdown of these numbers somewhere?

That's what I'm thinking. It's like saying the iPad and PlayBook account for 75% of the tablet market. Sure, it's technically accurate, but it doesn't really paint an accurate picture of the landscape.
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post #5 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

That's what I'm thinking. It's like saying the iPad and PlayBook account for 75% of the tablet market. Sure, it's technically accurate, but it doesn't really paint an accurate picture of the landscape.

Well they are differentiating tablet/phone (computing device) with handheld system (purely gaming)

I agree this distinction is becoming less and less relavent. I assume DS and PSP get email etc. now? with 3G?

If not, I suppose the distinction is valid. The underlying threat of article: handheld games obsolete, portable device assimilates gaming
post #6 of 46
I want to know the breakdown iOS vs Android.

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post #7 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

That's what I'm thinking. It's like saying the iPad and PlayBook account for 75% of the tablet market. Sure, it's technically accurate, but it doesn't really paint an accurate picture of the landscape.

It doesn't matter for the purpose of the work that was done. They were comparing mobile phone and tablets to the mobile game franchises. At some point WP7 will have some effect as well.
post #8 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by joelsalt View Post

Well they are differentiating tablet/phone (computing device) with handheld system (purely gaming)

I agree this distinction is becoming less and less relavent. I assume DS and PSP get email etc. now? with 3G?

If not, I suppose the distinction is valid. The underlying threat of article: handheld games obsolete, portable device assimilates gaming

Yes, but still they should have broken out the two separately. Why, because they are two different devices. Since they combined iOS and Android they should have combined Nintendo and Play Station.
post #9 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

It doesn't matter for the purpose of the work that was done. They were comparing mobile phone and tablets to the mobile game franchises. At some point WP7 will have some effect as well.

WP7 - good one. Thanks, I was in need of a good laugh.
post #10 of 46
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post #11 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nairb View Post

WP7 - good one. Thanks, I was in need of a good laugh.

WP7 is pretty great. David Pogue has a nice write up on it. I'm even trying to get one of the WP7-based Nokia N9s sent to me from Finland when they come out.
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post #12 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by joelsalt View Post

Well they are differentiating tablet/phone (computing device) with handheld system (purely gaming)

I agree this distinction is becoming less and less relavent. I assume DS and PSP get email etc. now? with 3G?

If not, I suppose the distinction is valid. The underlying threat of article: handheld games obsolete, portable device assimilates gaming

The problem for both Nintendo and Sony is that there's nothing they can do to effectively compete. These game devices are so very different from phones and tablets that the only thing they could do is to turn their devices into one, and the evidence over time from some other manufacturers who tried that is that success isn't likely.

The price would equal or exceed the platforms they would compete against, and that's a losing proposition.

The longer Nintendo take to translate the writing on the wall, the less chance they will have to act upon it. Sales of the DS series is abysmal these days. From a high of 30 million a year for a couple of years, it looks to be no more than about 6 million this year. Adding the 3D model, it may come to 8 million. That means that people not using the old models aren't going to be replacing them, and that new people aren't buying into the system.

They're having the same problem with their console, and the new one looks to be a problem, both technically, and perceptually. It may fail too, and it won't be out for some time. That's bad.

This generation of gaming devices will be the last major design we'll see. Anything going forward will be just an improvement with some new features.
post #13 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nairb View Post

WP7 - good one. Thanks, I was in need of a good laugh.

I'm not predicting huge sales from that direction. I never have. But, it is going to be around for a while, at least. MS doesn't abandon platforms that quickly, and when they do, such as the Zune, they transform it into something else, such as WP7, and now Metro.

So it will rack up sales. Large sales? Possibly not as a marketshare number, but big enough.

With Nintendo's sales below 10 million a year for the DS series, and dropping, even WP7 will surpass that. Estimates for WP7 last quarter were miserable, but equaled the 1.4 million in sales for the DS, so there's nothing to laugh about in that comparison. WP7 sales will go up as DS sales go down.
post #14 of 46
Apple needs to (and I'm sure they're working on it) sign Nintendo to an exclusive deal to port games over to iOS and not to Android. It would be worth giving Nintendo a very lucrative cut of sales compared to other games makers to exclude Android from that market for 5 years.
post #15 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacRulez View Post

It would be nice to know that, but since most profitable games are deployed to both it doesn't matter much, at least to most developers and consumers.

Actually it would be interesting. At WWDC, one game developer for a small studio had 80% of their resource supporting maintenance, porting and compatibility checks within the Android eco-system and only got 20% of their gross revenue from Android. They stay with Android simply so they could be well positioned if it ever does becomes more profitable.

4X the effort. 1/4 the money. At some point, a game studio will simply drop the platform that is costing 16X more to support.
post #16 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by cameronj View Post

Apple needs to (and I'm sure they're working on it) sign Nintendo to an exclusive deal to port games over to iOS and not to Android. It would be worth giving Nintendo a very lucrative cut of sales compared to other games makers to exclude Android from that market for 5 years.

That would be killer. The prices of Mario Kart, etc. would likely be $19.99 however.
post #17 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

That's what I'm thinking. It's like saying the iPad and PlayBook account for 75% of the tablet market. Sure, it's technically accurate, but it doesn't really paint an accurate picture of the landscape.

Kind of like:
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post #18 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

It doesn't matter for the purpose of the work that was done. They were comparing mobile phone and tablets to the mobile game franchises. At some point WP7 will have some effect as well.

That's not what they're showing. They posted separate numbers for Nintendo and Sony, so it's not all about "conventional gaming consoles vs tablets/phones".

Either they should have broken out iOS and Android or they should have combined Nintendo and Sony if they wanted to be consistent.
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post #19 of 46
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post #20 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

WP7 is pretty great. David Pogue has a nice write up on it. I'm even trying to get one of the WP7-based Nokia N9s sent to me from Finland when they come out.

You've repeatedly mentioned that, and the first couple of times I thought it was a typo, but now I think you should be careful. The Nokia N9 is not a WP7 device, but MeeGo -- the first and possibly last of its kind. The WP7 phone that is based on a similar outer shell but comes with different internals (at least different CPU) and OS is called Lumia 800. Just warning you so that you don't get scammed.

http://www.theverge.com/2011/10/22/2...okia-n9-review

http://www.theverge.com/2011/11/3/25...mia-800-review

I believe you'll find the sources above trustworthy.

To those that want an Android/iOS game revenue breakdown, my guess is 2/98 now, 70/30 in five years.
post #21 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDoppio View Post

You've repeatedly mentioned that, and the first couple of times I thought it was a typo, but now I think you should be careful. The Nokia N9 is not a WP7 device, but MeeGo -- the first and possibly last of its kind. The WP7 phone that is based on a similar outer shell but comes with different internals (at least different CPU) and OS is called Lumia 800. Just warning you so that you don't get scammed.

I thought referring to the well known body design of the N9 with the WP7-based qualifier was more clear than calling it the Lumia 800 at this point. I can switch to Nokia Lumia.
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post #22 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDoppio View Post

To those that want an Android/iOS game revenue breakdown, my guess is 2/98 now, 70/30 in five years.

And do you have anything to back that up besides pure speculation?
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post #23 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I thought referring to the well known body design of the N9 with the WP7-based qualifier was more clear than calling it the Lumia 800 at this point. I can switch to Nokia Lumia.

Fair enough, for this forum it probably doesn't matter, as ignorance for anything non-Apple abounds. But I frequent places on the internet where people would see red if you confuse the N9 with Elop's body-snatcher.
post #24 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smiles77 View Post

And do you have anything to back that up besides pure speculation?

I said "guess", you said "speculation", are we playing "synonyms with friends" now?
post #25 of 46
Console and portable games have become so expensive nowadays, and in most cases, I do not even beat the games because I did not enjoy them enough to warrant my time. I like dumping $4.99 on Scribblenauts Remix for iPhone rather than $30 for the Nintendo DS versions.

iPhone games are so much cheaper than their portable console counterparts. If I did not enjoy them, then I am only out 99 cents - $4.99 rather than $60.
post #26 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacRulez View Post

If they're spending that much on support it may be time for them to switch cross-platform frameworks.

What are they currently using?

Unity if I remember though they had tried MonoTouch (not too bad but limited functionality and poor Novel support) and a few others. The biggest issue were frame rate tweaks and jitters on the various 100+ Android handsets that always cropped up. So iOS had 8 test beds. Android >100 and they always found things between different versions of Android and different GPU chip sets just enough different to require additional work.
post #27 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by starbird73 View Post

That would be killer. The prices of Mario Kart, etc. would likely be $19.99 however.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Negafox View Post

Console and portable games have become so expensive nowadays, and in most cases, I do not even beat the games because I did not enjoy them enough to warrant my time. I like dumping $4.99 on Scribblenauts Remix for iPhone rather than $30 for the Nintendo DS versions.

iPhone games are so much cheaper than their portable console counterparts. If I did not enjoy them, then I am only out 99 cents - $4.99 rather than $60.


Both of these post hit the nail on the head. Nintendo and Sony games are simply way too expensive...

The other point is that both the 3DS and the upcoming Vita use dead media... Even if the games were identically priced, the ability to push a single game to all of my devices instantly is a feature that neither Nintendo or Sony can compete against. I just purchased Whale Trail on my iPhone for my kids and within minutes it was on my iPad and iPod Touch. All three of my boys were playing the same game.... How can Sony and Nintendo compete against that??
post #28 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smiles77 View Post

And do you have anything to back that up besides pure speculation?

Well at the beginning of the year, iSuppli reported Android Market nearly tied with Nokia Ovi at $102/105 million in annual revenues, behind BlackBerry with $165 million in app market revenues, while Apple raked in $1,782 million.

Apple's rivals battle for iOS scraps as app market sales grow to $2.2 billion

Some large percentage of those app titles are games, but it's pretty clear that Apple is the single leader in app revenues with +80 percent of all global mobile app revenue. And Google was not in second place.

So Flurry published a horrifically dishonest headline appeasing Android, likely in an attempt to get broader coverage for its story, and at the same time, disrespected Apple for 1) creating the App Store, 2) maintaining the only successful app store by any measure, and 3) doing all of the work in changing the fate of games.

AI/DED has chronicled how Apple beat the mobile gaming business at its own game, and all the while critics were laughing hysterically at the idea that Apple or the iPhone could play games worthy of anyone's dollars. So look who was right and who were the clowns.
post #29 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave K. View Post

Both of these post hit the nail on the head. Nintendo and Sony games are simply way too expensive...

That's part of it.

The other part is that you can drop a couple hundred dollars on a portable game console that is useless for anything but playing games - or an iPod Touch or tablet that will do lots of other things. For many people, the multi-function device makes more sense.
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post #30 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

WP7 is pretty great. David Pogue has a nice write up on it. I'm even trying to get one of the WP7-based Nokia N9s sent to me from Finland when they come out.

The N9 has Meego, we are already selling them here.
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post #31 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacRulez View Post

It would be nice to know that, but since most profitable games are deployed to both it doesn't matter much, at least to most developers and consumers.

exactly. the new generation of smartphone/tablet games are being ported by their developers to all the touchscreen platforms at pretty much the same low prices. what is killing Nintendo and Sony are those low game prices which make their hihg-price business model obsolete, and the multipurpose utility of the touchscreen devices with apps that make their PGP's obsolete.

it's over. they're dead. stick a fork in them. just like the consoles killed arcade games. just like arcade games killed pinball.

if Nintendo does't port Mario to iOS, Android, et al., that franchise will soon go the way of Space Invaders ....
post #32 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by macminiwii View Post

Since they combined iOS and Android they should have combined Nintendo and Play Station.

I'm about to blow your mind right now.

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post #33 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

That's what I'm thinking. It's like saying the iPad and PlayBook account for 75% of the tablet market. Sure, it's technically accurate, but it doesn't really paint an accurate picture of the landscape.

It does if what you are measuring is the infiltration of touch based mobile phones and tablets in the portable gaming market.

I also would like to know the breakout, but in terms of what is being measured, Android versus iOS is irrelevant here.
post #34 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by SmileyDude View Post

Why is iOS and Android lumped together but the PSP and the DS are separate? Is there a breakdown of these numbers somewhere?

What you really want to verify is that iOS has 56% and Android has 2% of that gaming market share. Am I right?
post #35 of 46
We're seeing a replay of what happened to the dedicated console business in the early '80s, when cheap multipurpose home computers like the Commodore 64 and Atari 800XL hit the market at similar price points and wiped the consoles out.

Nintendo was finally able to establish the NES as a successful rival because it was far easier to use than a personal computer and it was cheaper. That became particularly true as the personal computer market moved upscale toward the more expensive IBM PC and monochrome-only Macintosh.

The console makers aren't going to hold such an advantage going forward. Smartphones and tablets are going to remain easy to use, and they're going to stay cheap. In fact, they're likely to get cheaper and easier to use.

The handheld console business is clearly dead, and my guess is the home console will be the next device to be eliminated. Tablets and smartphones may not rival them in terms of raw performance - yet, anyhow - but with their annual release cycles they'll rapidly catch up with most hardware advances made by the consoles. Worse for the consoles, the enormous userbases of the two dominant mobile platforms will attract equally enormous developer communities, making it tough for new consoles to get the kind of developer commitment they need to succeed in relation.

I wouldn't be surprised to see Sony bow out of the console business entirely. Microsoft would, if they weren't run by idiots. Nintendo doesn't have much alternative but to try, though I don't fancy their chances.
post #36 of 46
Anybody out there from the camp that was stating emphatically a year or so ago that the iPhone and touch screen-based smartphones were not going to have an impact on the portable gaming market?

That no "serious" gamer would stoop to playing on a phone?
post #37 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by ahmlco View Post

Anybody out there from the camp that was stating emphatically a year or so ago that the iPhone and touch screen-based smartphones were not going to have an impact on the portable gaming market?

That no "serious" gamer would stoop to playing on a phone?

It's just sad that Apple decided that the iPod Touch didn't deserve a hardware upgrade to the A5/PowerVR SGX543MP2, instead of keeping the A4.

Of course, Apple will make more profit on the iPhone 4S, but given the performance of the PowerVR SGX543MP2 in the A5, it was a lost opportunity to gain additional market share with gamers who can't afford an iPhone 4S.

It doesn't help that there appears to be little difference in cost between the A4 and A5 --

http://www.isuppli.com/Teardowns/New...o-iSuppli.aspx -- A4, around $11
http://www.isuppli.com/Teardowns/Mar...at-Counts.aspx -- A5, around $15

Maybe it was an A5 supply issue, or there was too much engineering involved, even though it would appear unlikely --

http://guide-images.ifixit.net/igi/a...xmn3aGcX.large -- iPod Touch 4th gen motherboard
http://guide-images.ifixit.net/igi/I...QSSqwSbg.large -- iPhone 4 motherboard
http://guide-images.ifixit.net/igi/d...nbZ2JiDS.large -- iPhone 4S motherboard

Or maybe Apple felt that the 'perceived value' of an iPod Touch with an A5 didn't justify the current price, even though it's not much more in cost. I would have gladly paid $20 over current iPod Touch prices to get one with an A5.
Next year, no deal.

In any case, I hope Apple re-syncs the SoC's between the iPod Touch 5th Gen and iPhone 5 next year, instead of just upgrading to the A5 next time around.

If Apple had kept the SoC's out of sync between the iPod Touch and the iPhone all along, I wouldn't even bring this up.
post #38 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Constable Odo View Post

What you really want to verify is that iOS has 56% and Android has 2% of that gaming market share. Am I right?

well, it would be very interesting to know if Apple has more than Nintend's 36% share of the market. and very likely, it does. making it "Numbah One!".
post #39 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by ahmlco View Post

Anybody out there from the camp that was stating emphatically a year or so ago that the iPhone and touch screen-based smartphones were not going to have an impact on the portable gaming market?

That no "serious" gamer would stoop to playing on a phone?

I remember all those people from a discussion thread long ago, when it was clear as day that this is what was coming.

Needless to say my posts at that time weren't terribly successful at winning them over.
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post #40 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunspot42 View Post

We're seeing a replay of what happened to the dedicated console business in the early '80s, when cheap multipurpose home computers like the Commodore 64 and Atari 800XL hit the market at similar price points and wiped the consoles out.

Nintendo was finally able to establish the NES as a successful rival because it was far easier to use than a personal computer and it was cheaper. That became particularly true as the personal computer market moved upscale toward the more expensive IBM PC and monochrome-only Macintosh.

The console makers aren't going to hold such an advantage going forward. Smartphones and tablets are going to remain easy to use, and they're going to stay cheap. In fact, they're likely to get cheaper and easier to use.

The handheld console business is clearly dead, and my guess is the home console will be the next device to be eliminated. Tablets and smartphones may not rival them in terms of raw performance - yet, anyhow - but with their annual release cycles they'll rapidly catch up with most hardware advances made by the consoles. Worse for the consoles, the enormous userbases of the two dominant mobile platforms will attract equally enormous developer communities, making it tough for new consoles to get the kind of developer commitment they need to succeed in relation.

I wouldn't be surprised to see Sony bow out of the console business entirely. Microsoft would, if they weren't run by idiots. Nintendo doesn't have much alternative but to try, though I don't fancy their chances.

no, i think consoles still have a leading role for the foreseeble future. after all, Apple TV - which makes AirPlay Mirroring possible - is a basic console. you can't build all that stuff into HDTV's. i mean, you could technically, but it would get obsolete years before you needed to replace the TV. i think instead we will see future game consoles add other STB and Smart TV functions, looking to become your single all-purpose box.

The PS3 was certainly a big initial step in that direction with BluRay, but all its other features are crude compared to iOS. and its 3D TV/games potential just has not taken off yet - if it ever will. but i'm sure Sony will come out with a PS4, as soon as next year. and i bet it is integrated to some extent with the Vita PSP and Sony's tablets and smartphones too, plus their Bravia smart TV's and accessories. we'll see how much, and how well it all works.

but Sony is really bad at software. and depending on Android (and MS) for their OS has always crippled their products. They would be smart to buy WebOS from HP.

Nintendo is stubbornly headed into a dead end now. i bet they get bought up by another Asian company within two years - like Samsung - that wants to build its own full home digital ecosystem.

wheras you know MS will never give up and will keep throwing money at it. wouldn't surprise me at all if they bought TiVo tomorrow and bolted it on to the next generation XBox - the XVo!
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