Ask not for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for… Mario? As predicted, revenue from mobile games on the iOS App Store and Android Market are crushing their single-function competition, earning an estimated 58% of United States portable gaming revenue, according to Flurry. Take note: that’s not individual app sales, that’s total revenue, giving iOS and Android combined a 1.9 billion dollar share of the 3.3 billion dollar gaming pie. The percentage of revenue going to smartphones and tablets has nearly doubled in a single year.
It’s not hard to see why games on mobile phones and tablets are doing so well: with most titles being either free or less than $10, a $40 Nintendo 3DS cartridge is a hard sell. That’s on top of portable gaming hardware, which is reaching beyond the $200 mark – which, not insignificantly, is about the most that many people will pay for a new smartphone. Android in particular is expanding to include some incredible hardware and software. Shadowgun is almost as impressive as an Xbox 360 title as far as graphics goes, and the upcoming Nvidia Tegra 3 promises to make that gap even smaller.
Sales for Nintendo and Sony have been slipping steadily. With the Nintendo 3DS and the upcoming PlayStation Vita getting lukewarm receptions, it looks like hard times ahead for the dedicated portable gaming market. Unfortunately, Flurry didn’t break down the revenue share between iOS and Android. Now if you’ll excuse me, Ive got to get back to Puzzle Quest.