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Are handheld games consoles on borrowed time?

12 Oct 2012

Console developers have been given some food for thought today as new research shows mobile gaming is becoming a real force in the industry.

A report from leading market research company The NPD Group entitled Mobile Gaming 2012 shows that 59% of total app game play is done on a mobile device.

That might not be that staggering, but it does mean that browser-based app games like Facebook’s Farmville are taking a much smaller share of the market than mobile games.

Of those who play app games, 23% exclusively play on mobile devices.

Half of all app gamers are playing mobile games more often than they did last year, giving the reasons that free apps have become more common, portability has increased and app gaming is more convenient.

Close to 30%  have either made an in-game purchase or have upgraded from a free app to a paid version – which shows that it is very, very possible to make money from apps.

Another survey conducted by investment back and asset management firm Piper Jaffray has revealed that 40% of the 7,700 American teens surveyed owned an iPhone.

These statistics have proved to be startling news for the handheld gaming industry, as both Sony and Nintendo have been attempting to expand that side of their market – but Finnish developer Supercell’s general manager Greg Harper told the New York Times earlier this week that they could have a problem on their hands.

“That market seems in trouble to me,” he said. “The iPad mini could be one of the final nails in the coffin.”

What do you think – is the handheld market doomed? Or can the nostalgic nature of the market win over some fans; those of us who played Pokemon Yellow on their Gameboy Colour? Let us know what you think below.

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