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Report: Mobile Smartphone/Tablet Gamers Now Outnumber Console Gamers

Eric McBride
14

 

I’ve been playing video games for a very long time, and as someone who has owned an Atari 2600 (I was 6), a Nintendo, Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis, Sega CD, Gameboy, Gamegear, Playstation 1, Playstation 2, Xbox, Xbox 360, 7 Android phones, and 2 Android tablets, it’s pretty safe to say that I have seen video games evolve at an insane rate. PC and console gaming will always be my preference when it comes to games, but it seems that I might now be a minority, as the NPD Group is now reporting that people who play games on smartphones and tablets now outnumber the amount of hardcore gamers that play on consoles in the US.

The study was released on Wednesday, and according to the NPD Group, the amount of mobile gamers are growing at a pretty impressive pace:

"The size of key gamer segments are shifting, with mobile gamers now representing the largest gamer segment, edging out core gamers, which was the largest segment in 2011".

While that certainly is impressive, it’s also not surprising, especially when you consider the lifecycles of consoles. The Xbox 360 was unveiled on May 12th 2005, the Playstation 3 was released on November 11th 2006, and the Nintendo Wii on November 19th 2006, meaning that 7 years have went by without a new console. New phones and tablets arrive on an almost monthly basis, and with the amount of them on the market, it’s no huge surprise that they have overtaken Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo in terms of numbers. NPD analyst Anita Frazier agrees:

“Given the long life-cycles of the current (videogame) consoles and the increasing installed base of smartphones and tablets, it's not surprising to see a slight decline in the core gamer segment. It's the revenue contribution of the core gamer segment that continues to outpace all other segments and remains vital to the future of the industry. Looking across the total gaming audience, we see a tremendous impact from mobile gaming, particularly on smartphones and tablets”.

With a new Playstation, Xbox, and Wii expected next year, you can best believe that console gaming isn’t going anywhere. That being said, it’s great to see Android (and IOS as well) having such an impact on the gaming industry. Couple that with concepts like the Ouya Android console, and it’s pretty easy to see that big things will be coming to gamers of all types over the next 15 months.

I...can't...wait. 

Picture credits: www.vincentabry.com

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  • Tyler Sep 6, 2012 Link

    I haven't touched my ps3, xbox, or wii to play video games in like 3 months.

    I've been playing a lot of Order & Chaos lately as I get my MMO fix plus it's mobile. I can pick up and play anywhere/anytime.

    I probably won't get back into another console game until Assasin's Creed 3 comes out in October.

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  • Eric McBride Sep 6, 2012 Link

    Ooooh yeah bro..I am very patiently waiting for Assasins Creed 3 as well. But until then, Skyrim will keep me more than busy :-D

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  • Patrick R. Sep 6, 2012 Link

    I myself have been playing video games since I was a kid, started with Pong, Space Invaders, Asteroids and Missle Command on my Atari and Tetris on my 8086 PC dual booting PC Dos 3.1 or MS Dos 4.0 (actually it depended on what disk i picked up amd inserted)

    Tablet and mobile phone gaming would inevitably dominate the gaming industry. Console and PC gaming involves a couple of hours per session or a couple of days - depending on the game. The portability of tablets and mobile allows us to function normally in society and do our stuff while zoning out for a couple of gaming. The concept started with the Nintendo Game & Watch. Glad to see the evolution of the technology and that the technology of the portable game platform is catching up with its mobile and desktop counterparts.

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  • Anna F. Sep 6, 2012 Link

    The first "video game" I ever played was snake on an old Nokia phone when I was very little. My first gaming experience was -I think- Donkey Kong on my dad's GameBoy Advance (which then became my GameBoy Advance) when I was 8. After that I got a Nintendo DS and after that I got an iPod touch 3G then my Galaxy SII and then an iPod touch 4G.

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  • Anna F. Sep 6, 2012 Link

    An of course I play games on my PC as well :P

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  • Dvoraak Sep 7, 2012 Link

    Almost everyone who owns an Android or iPhone is now a mobile gamer to one extent or another, even some who probably wouldn't normally play on a console or PC. I'd be curious to see how they crunched the numbers. My wife is no gamer at all.... but she'll play Words with Friends all day long on her iPhone. I wonder if social gamers were included in the numbers.

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  • Donsaibot Sep 7, 2012 Link

    Apart from my brief tap into the Angry Birds craze i don't see the appeal of Mobile Gaming. By that i mean stuff like GTA3 and those shooter games... the controls are just godawful and make me wanna have cancer so i can die and not having to play them anymore...

    That being said my re-discovery of ScummVM and being able to play Monkey Island or Maniac Mansion on my Tab 10.1 makes my day.

    Also i don't see whats useful about comparing console/PC gamers with people doodle jumping on their phones.

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  • Eric McBride Sep 7, 2012 Link

    @Anna - I still love Donkey Kong Country to this very day (SNES). Such an amazing game!

    @Dvoraak - So true. Android/IOS is creating a whole new breed of gamers!

    @Donsaibot - I understand what you mean. I'm such a hardcore console gamer that games on my tablet or phone can only keep me occupied for a brief period of time....ok..Super Stickman Gold if the exception. I can play that shizzle for HOURS!

    And it's not really about comparing. It's more about the "shift" that's taking place in the gaming industry. Doodle jumpers are one thing, but more and more people are playing games like GTA and Max Payne on their tablets and phones. Mobile is simply opening up new doors, different types of gamers, and different opportunities for the gaming industry in general.

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  • Anna F. Sep 7, 2012 Link

    I played Donkey Kong 2. I think my cousin gave it to my dad because he was bored of it? I was really disappointed when I got my DS and it couldn't play my Donkey Kong game...

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  • Eric McBride Sep 10, 2012 Link

    Just download a SNES emulator and play it on your Galaxy S2. Works like a charm! :-D

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  • Anna F. Sep 10, 2012 Link

    Why SNES? It's a GBA game._.; Anyway, I still have my GameBoy so I can play it there. The physical buttons work way better than the virtual ones :P Plus, it's a very old game card and I love the way it freezes sometimes or how the graphics turn pink or yellow instead of blue by accident xPP

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  • Eric McBride Sep 10, 2012 Link

    You mean Donkey Kong Country (Diddy Kong Quest)? That's a SNES game!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donkey_Kong_Country_2:_Diddy%27s_Kong_Quest

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  • Anna F. Sep 12, 2012 Link

    It's a big yellow game card that writes "GAMEBOY ADVANCE" on it in italics. So I'm pretty sure it's a GBA game :P The sticker on it is a little faded but I can clearly see it says "Donkey Kong 2" and shows Donkey Kong and his female partner who has a blond ponytail that's longer than her body (which you can use to fly helicopter-style)

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  • Eric McBride Sep 12, 2012 Link

    LOL! That's Dixie Kong! That's part 3 of the series:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donkey_Kong_Country_3:_Dixie_Kong%27s_Double_Trouble!

    It was originally released on the Super Nintendo as well, but was ported and later released for the GBA later on.

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