Popularity Of Smartphone Gaming Hurts Sony And Nintendo

Not that long ago, Nintendo and Sony were the two key players in the mobile gaming market. Now, with the popularity of smartphones and tablets, their increased power and graphics capabilities, and the availability of popular titles, Nintendo's popular DS and Sony's PlayStation Vita are facing some stiff competition.

Last quarter, Nintendo reported worldwide sales of 1.86 million for its 3DS—a respectable number, but not chart-topping. Sony's PlayStation Vita got off to a good start when it launched, but the company is having a hard time keeping sales up. Part of the reason both of these handheld gaming consoles are struggling is because gaming on Android and iOS is increasing in popularity. Major game publishers are realizing this and are increasingly offering popular titles for these two smartphone platforms as well as for the 3DS and PlayStation Vita.

In 2009, Flurry Analytics reported that Nintendo captured 70% of all of the U.S. portable game software revenue. Last year, that number was just 36%. As portable game software revenue has decreased for Nintendo, iOS and Android's gaming revenue has increased tremendously. Three years ago, iOS and Android captured 19% of the portable game software revenue. Now, the two smartphone platforms have a combined 58% of the portable game software revenue.

Given the increased availability of popular game titles, better smartphone and tablet hardware, and the sheer convenience of carrying a single device, Nintendo and Sony definitely have their work cut out for them if they're going to continue to compete in this space.

Image Credit: Apple