updated 08:20 pm EDT, Mon March 22, 2010
Apple devices carve out 19pc gaming revenue
Apple in one year has already claimed almost a fifth of all portable gaming revenue for itself, Flurry found in a new study this evening. The iPhone and iPod touch made up 19 percent of portable game revenue in all of 2009 where it had claimed five percent just a year earlier. At the same time, Nintendo dropped slightly to 70 percent, and Sony's PSP had its share almost halved, plunging from 20 percent to 11 percent.
The nearly fivefold spike was enough to have Apple represent 5 percent of all video game revenue, regardless of the platform, and eat into sales of TV consoles. Other portables still grew year-over-year to 24 percent of video game revenue, but systems like the Microsoft Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii and Sony PS3 dropped eight points to 71 percent.
Apple's success comes in spite of lower average prices and may hide a much larger gain in actual influence, Flurry added. Where an iPhone game typically costs $10 or less, many DS and PSP games cost $30 to $40 and hide lower sales volume in their prices. Gaps in system prices have also closed considerably as an iPod now sells for $199, or just above the PSP and much closer to the DS Lite or DSi. The two factors could lead to younger audiences switching outright rather than simply getting an iPod or iPhone as a supplement.
Sony's attempt to mimic the iPod touch strategy with the PSP Go has led to particularly dismal sales as its high price and other design choices haven't helped its position.
Analysts also believe the iPad could be even more of a danger as its strong early developer support and added power could damage not just handhelds but regular console gaming, where Microsoft is relatively isolated from the damage done to Nintendo and Sony.
"Unless the other major video game platform providers... respond accordingly, Apple could continue to roll up video game market share," the researchers warned.