Last December, MacRumors reported on survey results showing that users of portable games are increasingly defecting from dedicated devices such as the Nintendo DS and Sony PSP to smartphones such as the iPhone.

New data from analytics firm Flurry comparing overall video game market share in 2009 and 2010 reveals a similar trend, with iOS and Android combining to take 8% of the overall market and a full 34% of the portable gaming market as measure by revenue. In the overall market, console games continue to dominate, growing from 71% to 76% on only a slight increase in total video game revenue.

From 2009 to 2010, iOS and Android game sales increased from 5% to 8% market share within the U.S. video game market. Specifically, we estimate that iOS and Android game revenue increased from $500 million in 2009 to more $800 million in 2010. Of this, the significant majority of revenue was generated by iPhone games.

But setting aside the console market, the success of iOS and Android (primarily iOS according to Flurry's data) as gaming platforms is more obvious in the portable market, where the smartphone platforms have increased their share of revenue from 19% in 2009 to 34% in 2010 at the expense of Nintendo's and Sony's offerings.

From 2009 to 2010, iOS and Android game sales have spiked significantly, resulting in nearly a doubling of their market share. With both Nintendo DS and Sony PlayStation Portable shrinking in sales, while smart-device game sales simultaneously grew by more than 60%, iOS and Android games now represent more than one third of the portable game category.

It is also important to note that the surge in revenue share for smartphone platforms comes at a significantly lower average price point than for dedicated devices, meaning that even the strong growth from those platforms has eaten into the total portable gaming market, which dropped from $2.7 billion in 2009 to $2.4 billion in 2010. The "race to the bottom" has long been one of the main concerns for smartphone application developers, particularly traditional game developers who have been accustomed to the pricing model for dedicated gaming devices. But users are clearly shifting toward more casual gaming at lower price points on their smartphones, and developers that have embraced that market are in many cases seeing solid results.

Originally posted on our sister site MacRumors!

  • Decoy Octopus

    This "race to the bottom" for .99 cent pricing is particular why (most) ios/android games lack any quality. I'm not even sure it's safe comparing smartphones to handheld gaming devices. They are really to different industries. Data looks interesting but I am not convinced that .99 cent games are cutting into the gaming industries market share. $19.99 vs .99 cents? First party companies are still going to make more money off the handheld market while indie developers compete in the smartphone game market.

    • Sheriff

      I've seen iPhone games with better graphics and better depth/quality/experience than handheld games. And for prices of $1 to $4 its a steal. I haven't played my NDS in years, heck I don't even know where it is...

      iPhones have everything you can need, internet, games, phone, apps. Why bother with something that costs the same yet only offers you games (that are 30x more expensive, and barely have better quality)? Non-smartphone portable gaming is a thing of the past... And this so called "N3DS" is another failed attempt at making the NDS marketable, look at NDSi...

      • Mrnohnaimers

        barely higher quality? nothing on the iOS come anywhere close to the quality of games like God of War, Metal Gear Solid Peace Walker, Shin Megami Tensei, any of the mario games, Dragon Quest etc. Not even close.

        This decline in revenue share is very much expected. First of all iOS is growing the market by bringing in new casual gamers, it might very well be true that DS and PSP revenue have not changed. Another thing is, DS and PSP are all very old systems in the final stages of their respective lives, so of course sales are expected to decrease. Also don't forget, there were not that many blockbuster games for DS and PSP in 2010, there were no New Super Mario Bros (sold 25+ million copies), no Mario Kart (sold 21+ million copies) etc too.

        I have an iPad, iPhone but the iOS devices will never replace my DS, PSP, 3DS and NGP (when it comes out) as a gaming device. I'll do accidental gaming on my iOS devices (eg. waiting 5 minutes for a bus etc), but for longer gaming sessions I'm sticking with the higher quality games.

      • C1ph3r-d1vyn3

        "I've seen iPhone games with better graphics..."
        ::sigh:: When are we ever going to learn this lesson? (Apple fanboys apparently aren't,) Sure, Infinity Blade is awesome visually. Infinity Blade also siphons power from that Li-ion like an open drain does water. On the other hand, another graphically-intense game like God of War: Ghost of Sparta nets you at least 3.5-4 hrs minimum on PSP.

        "...and better depth/quality/experience than handheld games."
        ::smh:: Let's do this by genre: fighting, shooter, action, racing, RPG, strategy. You name me 6 games (1 from ea. genre) that can contend with Super Street Fighter IV (3DS); SOCOM Fireteam Bravo 3 (PSP); God of War: Ghost of Sparta (PSP); Mario Kart (DS); Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride (DS); and Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon (DS) that are available in the App Store.

        "iPhones have everything you can need, internet, games, phone, apps."
        Correction: iPhones have everything YOU need. Everyone that games doesn't need a phone. Example: children. Grown people always assume adults are the only ones who play. Letting your 3-yr old play something on your iPhone doesn't make it a legitimate handheld for a child: that means you simply let them play w/it (which I wouldn't, not w/an expensive gadget like an iPhone). There's tons of AT&T customers who don't want an iPhone ::gasp!:: believe it or not.

        "[A handheld] offers you games [] that are 30x more expensive..."
        ::smh again:: Apple fanboys might be eating their words in the future about 99-cent games that are "better and offer more depth" than handheld games. Why? Square Enix is one of the few big traditional publishers that's taking the App Store somewhat seriously as a portable gaming platform. The recent Final Fantasy III (a direct port of the DS version) debuted in the App Store at $15.99 whereas the current price of the DS version is $19.99. If traditional publishers like Capcom start releasing Monster Hunter Freedom in the App Store, you will see similar pricing. And I'd gladly pay for it as a gamer b/c it's a real game -- I paid $15.99 for FF III.

        "Non-smartphone portable gaming is a thing of the past..."
        ::lmao:: Sure. Because the invention of the microwave successfully eradicated any necessity for a traditional stove top or oven... And that's exactly what this is. In their own respect, iPhone games are great as bite-sized titles you can play for a few minutes or an hour. Handheld games are bigger, beefier, w/more material. You can't expect to get a succulently-seasoned T-bone, loaded baked potato, and fresh green bean-dinner from a microwave. You need a stove/oven for that.

        ""N3DS" is another failed attempt at making the NDS marketable, look at NDSi..."
        You're fanatical. Have you caught wind of how many 3DS consoles were sold?? Do you realize how many Nintendo DSis were sold in the North American region alone?? Furthermore, do you know how many DSi XLs were sold in our region??! Do you realize Super Street Fighter IV on 3DS shipped a million copies?? Please.

        And I have an iPod touch 3rd gen (love it), DS Lite/DSi XL (love 'em), and a PSP-2000 (love it). Ea. has its own perks and must be taken in its own light. And I'm not even sure if it's relevant to even compare smartphone games to handheld ones except for the fact their form factors are similar. Dude, stop fanboying.

      • Sheriff

        For longer more "beefy" gaming sessions I have a fully tricked out gaming rig.

        Maybe I am fanboying a little. (Although I hate Apple computers, but I love my iPod Touch. I don't have the phone, AT&T is expensive.) I use my iPod Touch as a portable multimedia device, like a mini-laptop. Read books/manga, watch tv, check mail, internet, and play some games while I'm at lunch or at a bus stop or anywhere with wifi.

        I am a little biased towards NDS, mainly because I always regretted getting one instead of a PSP (I really wanted to play God of War.) And the NDSi was just a NDS with a camera strapped on, kind of useless imo, instead of releasing a newer generation device... Maybe the N3DS will be better, I don't know. But its not my cup of tea.

        As for decent games, there are a lot of really good quality games for iPhone like: Asphalt 6, Dungeon Hunter 2, Aralon, Hero of Sparta 1/2, and many more... Alot of 2d rpgs to sink your teeth into if thats your cup of tea, and there is a Street Fighter (but I haven't played it)

      • C1ph3r-d1vyn3

        Asphalt 6 is fantastic (just downloaded it a couple nights ago); Dungeon Hunter 1 and 2 are both awesome (I love loot-heavy hack 'n slashers); I don't have Aralon HD but I think Sacred Odyssey by Gameloft is fantastic; I didn't care for or like the Hero of Sparta series probably b/c it's a direct rip of God of War (have I-III, Chains of Olympus, and Ghost of Sparta). There are plenty more great games for iOS like Final Fantasy III, Secret of Mana, Wild Frontier, I really like Froggy Jump and Smurfs' Village, blah blah blah.

        Personally, I think the 3DS is AWESOME (don't have one yet). If you honestly just don't like the DS line, that's cool but I just think Nintendo made way too many improvements for people to say the 3DS "is just another DS" or "it sucks."

        - Nintendo listened to fans an gave us an analog stick (which is 100x better than the PSP's)
        - 3DS supports faser 2.4GHz 802.11 Wi-Fi and WPA2 encryption (both which were missing from the original DS line)
        - The improved eShop which allows transfers of/purchase of DSiWare and later Game Boy, Game Boy Color, Game Gear, and TurboGrafx 16 games
        - A single Friend Code instead of multiple ones for ea. game you purchase
        - A friends list that you can have up to 100 friends on
        - An improved UI
        - Improved online connectivity for social game networking via SpotPass and StreetPass and for pushing out firmware and game updates (like iOS)
        - Highly improved graphics

        And so much more. It's really phenomenal and even cool considering this thing'll be able to play Ocarina of Time -- a Nintendo 64 console game -- in your pocket, in 3D in a few months when it's released. It seems like the NGP/PSP2 is more your thing so I'd definitely pay attention to that during Sony's press conference at E3 this year. I'm totally stoked for the NGP/PSP2 as well and plan on having both at some point.

      • C1ph3r-d1vyn3

        "I've seen iPhone games with better graphics..."
        ::sigh:: When are we ever going to learn this lesson? (Apple fanboys apparently aren't,) Sure, Infinity Blade is awesome visually. Infinity Blade also siphons power from that Li-ion like an open drain does water. On the other hand, another graphically-intense game like God of War: Ghost of Sparta nets you at least 3.5-4 hrs minimum on PSP.

        "...and better depth/quality/experience than handheld games."
        ::smh:: Let's do this by genre: fighting, shooter, action, racing, RPG, strategy. You name me 6 games (1 from ea. genre) that can contend with Super Street Fighter IV (3DS); SOCOM Fireteam Bravo 3 (PSP); God of War: Ghost of Sparta (PSP); Mario Kart (DS); Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride (DS); and Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon (DS) that are available in the App Store.

        "iPhones have everything you can need, internet, games, phone, apps."
        Correction: iPhones have everything YOU need. Everyone that games doesn't need a phone. Example: children. Grown people always assume adults are the only ones who play. Letting your 3-yr old play something on your iPhone doesn't make it a legitimate handheld for a child: that means you simply let them play w/it (which I wouldn't, not w/an expensive gadget like an iPhone). There's tons of AT&T customers who don't want an iPhone ::gasp!:: believe it or not.

        "[A handheld] offers you games [] that are 30x more expensive..."
        ::smh again:: Apple fanboys might be eating their words in the future about 99-cent games that are "better and offer more depth" than handheld games. Why? Square Enix is one of the few big traditional publishers that's taking the App Store somewhat seriously as a portable gaming platform. The recent Final Fantasy III (a direct port of the DS version) debuted in the App Store at $15.99 whereas the current price of the DS version is $19.99. If traditional publishers like Capcom start releasing Monster Hunter Freedom in the App Store, you will see similar pricing. And I'd gladly pay for it as a gamer b/c it's a real game -- I paid $15.99 for FF III.

        "Non-smartphone portable gaming is a thing of the past..."
        ::lmao:: Sure. Because the invention of the microwave successfully eradicated any necessity for a traditional stove top or oven... And that's exactly what this is. In their own respect, iPhone games are great as bite-sized titles you can play for a few minutes or an hour. Handheld games are bigger, beefier, w/more material. You can't expect to get a succulently-seasoned T-bone, loaded baked potato, and fresh green bean-dinner from a microwave. You need a stove/oven for that.

        ""N3DS" is another failed attempt at making the NDS marketable, look at NDSi..."
        You're fanatical. Have you caught wind of how many 3DS consoles were sold?? Do you realize how many Nintendo DSis were sold in the North American region alone?? Furthermore, do you know how many DSi XLs were sold in our region??! Do you realize Super Street Fighter IV on 3DS shipped a million copies?? Please.

        And I have an iPod touch 3rd gen (love it), DS Lite/DSi XL (love 'em), and a PSP-2000 (love it). Ea. has its own perks and must be taken in its own light. And I'm not even sure if it's relevant to even compare smartphone games to handheld ones except for the fact their form factors are similar. Dude, stop fanboying.

      • SMP

        Your basing your opinion on the quality/pricing of a handheld game on your own preconception of what it should be.I mean to be fair, that's been based on what's been available to you/us, but it is worth noting that the DS came out in 2004, there was no iPhone, and mobile devices offered nothing like they do today. Really, for all handhelds, mobile gaming still has yet to escalate, there are unique advantages/disadvantages for all mobile platforms, but its up to companies to justify their products, and the market will determine what's valid, for better or worse.

  • Blueknight1st

    It's good to see that Nintendo is loosing some foothold.

    • Decoy Octopus

      I dont think nintendo is loosing its foothold. Even if it were, how would that be a good thing for gaming in general?

      • http://twitter.com/21tigermike Michael A. Robson

        Competition

      • Anonymous

        Hmm... In Japan in the first month of the 3DS being out, it was outsold by the PSP. That's a slip to me.

      • Raikagetaicho

        the 3ds is the console whit more sales in the year whit only a month whitoud a console saler(aka mario, zelda, FF, monster hunter, ect)

  • Hthomas

    Nintendo will probably gain popularity. The 3DS is fucking awesome, it's only lacking games at the moment. Hardware buttons can't be beaten by a touchscreen.

    • Anonymous

      They don't need to be beaten provided developers are making games that play to its strengths. Cut the Rope would never be quite as good played on a non-touchscreen device.

  • Zevzoq

    haha, listening to all the self-professed "hardcore" gamers whistling past the graveyard of dedicated handhelds is funny...

    • http://twitter.com/21tigermike Michael A. Robson

      AMEN!

    • Sid

      By "Hardcore" gamers do you mean DS nerds over the age of 20 still playing children games on a videogame system dedicated for people around the ages of 5-15 years old? games like Mario, Zelda, Super Princess Peach, Pokemon, Nintendogs and ect... Seriously is this what hardcore gaming is all about? I was a Mario fan myself... like 15 years ago! I find it funny these nerds come here to preach us what gaming is all about, yet they fail to realize iOS IS the future of gaming, and WILL take over the portable gaming market, the DS WILL be a thing of the past just like Gameboy, it's just a matter of time. I own a PSP myself, it's nice but way too bulky! These charts demonstrate it barely made a dent in the portable gaming industry, and that's because an adult wouldn't be caught dead taking such a bulky device at work or at restaurant (same applies for the DS), what's the point of a portable device if you cant take it around with you? on the other hand iOS is growing and it will continue to due so. The iOS has no lifespan, only yearly upgrades, just like a PC, so it's bound to take over eventually. People with busy lives and cant afford to sit in front of the tv all day long, the iOS will be their best bet. These self-proclaimed "hardcore" gamers can go on and on with their bragging until they can, but their days are numbered, they need to wake up and smell the coffee... and get a job while their at it.

      • C1ph3r-d1vyn3

        You're delusional and are making the classic mistake of overgeneralizing an entire population of people just to make an opinionated point. And saying that anyone older than the 5-15 age bracket you prescribe is dumb for playing a DS is ignorant b/c all ages of people play DS (and PSP and iPhone for that matter). That's like saying just b/c an iPhone is more chic, "grown up," and integrated that it's not for younger or older people -- that's insane. There's no age limit on any DS, PSP, or iPhone box. Miyazaki-san is a grown man and he made films like Spirited Away and Kiki's Delivery Service that capture the heart and spirit of children that EVERYONE can enjoy, just not some age bracket some idiot drummed up.

        Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and Age of Empires: Mythologies -- both pretty challenging turn-based strategy titles and both on DS -- are NOT children's games. Everyone over the age of 20 who hasn't a DS isn't a "nerd" (which is really stupid of you to say) and many of them have occupations (which is also ignorant of you to assume otherwise). If anyone's a nerd it's you. And your thing is you just outgrew traditional games which is fine but stop being rude and moronic just b/c you prefer an iPhone and others don't.

        Rabid Apple fanboys make me so sick...hey, I have an iPod touch as well and love it -- Apple makes great stuff and I love some of the phenomenal offerings developers and even some traditional players (e.g. Square Enix) are providing to the App Store. But even w/the best the App Store has to offer, I still personally find myself playing my DS and PSP more when I want to really delve into something expansive and substantial. Infinity Blade's dope, but I'm not going to play it for hours (well I can't anyway b/c the iPod's Li-ion don't allow for that anyway). And that's the point: maybe YOU don't have the time to do such by others do and who are you to say they're nerds or dinosaurs latching onto old ways if that's how they want to spend their time? Maybe your priorities keep you from doing such...

        And what's w/all this crap about "[handheld gamers'] days are numbered" and "fail[ure] to realize iOS IS the future of gaming"?? Apple fanatics act as if they've pledged allegiance to some secret society that's hellbent on ushering in some kind of iOS gaming apocalypse and every other competitor should die in its wake or something... Fanaticism at its finest. For crying out loud, if you make love to your iPhone that's great and your business but other people have different opinions. It's funny when people get so caught up in nonsense like this b/c at the end of the day, Apple doesn't give a damn about whether you love them or not: they're a business and are looking to make a profit off of you, fanboy or not. And one last thing: I don't know any gamers who actually refer to themselves as "hardcore gamers" since that's what you typed... >o< ...::for crying out loud::...

      • Sid

        I'm sorry did I struck a nerve? Good, I was hoping to catch some delusional fanboy still living in their parents basement, getting upset over a DS they received on their birthday, as my bait. Seems like you fit that bill quite nicely. Why not just come out an say it already, your that loser that still play children games! Why else would you get so upset over it? You act so proud of it with all your bragging, but your only fooling yourself to hide your embarrassment. I know I would be ashamed to if I were you. Is your nerve about to pop? You'll get over it, when you grow up! (heh, it even rhymed!)

      • C1ph3r-d1vyn3

        "I'm sorry did I struck a nerve?" >> strike?
        "...your that loser that still play children games!" >> you're, plays, children's??
        "...but your only fooling yourself to hide your embarrassment." >> you're again??
        "I would be ashamed to..." >> too?

        For a grown person (I'm assuming), your command of the English language and typing skills are on par w/that of the "child" you keep claiming me and fanboys alike to be. And I don't understand how I'm a handheld fanboy when I have (as I previously said) an iPod touch, a PSP, and 2 DS systems and enjoy ea. one thoroughly. I'm amazed you know so much about me! You're the most gifted, talented, smartest person I've met yet! However, the area of the world in which I reside, domiciles have no basements. But you're correct: I wake up at 3 in the afternoon everyday and eat Kellogg's Corn Flakes in my underwear in the basement of my parents waiting to "catch'em all!"

        And I never received a DS as a gift, much less a birthday present, but b/c you said I did, whoops! Guess I forgot about that one, too. Oh, oh, and yes you're right: I do play children's games! Damn, I'm glad you're there to remind of my life since I can't keep it straight myself. In fact, Dora the Explorer gets my vote for "Best DS Game Evaaar." You're right: I AM really embarrassed to play video games on a DS! I AM embarrassed that my "delusional fanboyism" keeps me from playing iPhone games, the REAL person's system/device! (I mean I do have an iPod touch, plan on upgrading to the 5th gen later this year if it's released, and have well over 250+ iOS games in my library but you're right, I forgot. Plus, my iPod touch is just an iPhone "on training wheels." Whoops.) I can't believe I've been fooling myself for so long; you totally saw through me. Thanks for unraveling me.

        Luring "delusional fanboys" into your "bait" and waiting for "nerves about to pop"?!? LOL!! Dude, pleeease!! Since you know everything and you're right regarding all there is in existence, I'll be sure to cast my ballot in your favor next time as well as redirect my prayers to thy Name. You're a troll, nothing more. You can totally respond back, that's cool. But I'm done w/you and moving on (and yes, I'm moving on b/c "you sure told me" and you effectively broke me down to size, you did). I don't do these 21st century Internet matches w/who's the bigger "whatever." One more thing: your attempt at that ending rhyme (or elementary rap) was cute. But since you love calling people children, you know your handle 'Sid' also rhymes with 'Kid'... Just sayin'.

      • Dragoonfantazyz

        What a loser, trying to teach English at a gaming site. Sid is right, you are pathetic!

      • Sid

        I know right, English is not ever my first language. I don't know what his beef is with me, but it's not even worth arguing with someone so lame! He keep whining and moaning about something, I forgot what it was about, but I'm sure it was something about him being lame.

      • Raikagetaicho

        You just probe that phone gamer are a bad excuse for the human race.

      • Raikagetaicho

        Let me see ,the guy is poster some good points, prove that is no a fanboy reconise that the I product is a very good choice and you say that hi is a loser for esprese his opinion and you only argument is "dude is theching english".
        PD: sorry for my english.

      • Anonymous

        U MAD

      • Swiftzx00

        Haha, you have to resort to insults only to make yourself feel better. If anyone should grow up, it should be you!

      • Raikagetaicho

        In all of bastion of the games web I never see a more patetic response.....seryusly a least tried defend your poinds whi rasonable arguments.

      • Anonymous

        Lol... Most people will agree that grown men with DS's are kind of sad.

      • Raikagetaicho

        I may be confuce but an adult playing shoting birds(angry birds) on his/she 500 dollar(whitoud contract) phone is more sad for me that a adult playing Sonic colours triying to get all the chaos(i forgot the of the creature of this game).

      • SMP

        These comments are quite the essays my friend, you should think about getting yours published before it's too late. Its too early to declare mobile phones/tablets the future, they've only started to grow, and it's still TBD on how they will fare against the next generation of handhelds. Really, the survey (if it's to believed) fails to mention a few points I've listed above, because of which I think it's disingenuous to say that people are defecting to smartphones. Who's to say there's even a shift if the majority of smartphone users just happen to be casually browsing the app stores top 25 for only 2 or 3 99 cent games? Yearly updated devices aren't any good for people who are stuck in contracts with their current phones, especially if they can't play a game on it because their systems outdated. That's not an issue with the PSP or the DS.

      • Raikagetaicho

        Let me see, the DS has a very good number of original game designs exclusive for it and the suport of the company that had the better developers in the game industry, the ios has the suport of a company whit a serious history for game suport in his products(google pin pin for more information) and a library full of flash games extencion, cheap copys of IP games, the only thing that make ios a "aceptable" game dispositive is the faq of his suport to indie developers.

        pd:excuse my english.

    • Raikagetaicho

      well is the ios is the future tha gaming is doom.

  • SMP

    I always take surveys with a large grain of salt, but it's always been amazing to me how iOS and android devices have grown as gaming platforms. That said, there are a few things that the survey doesn't take into account. One, mobile phones/devices will always have access to a wider audience than gaming handhelds will because their functionality as phones. And of course, we're near the end of the PSP/DS's significance as gaming handhelds as Sony and Nintendo begin transitioning to the PSP 2 and the 3DS respectively. Definitely curious to see how the portable gaming market escalates over the next four-five years as the 3DS and PSP hold out against yearly reiterations of Android/iOS devices.

  • Adams Immersive

    iOS gaming has even cut into my desktop gaming, and I’m a big FPS fan!

    (And as an FPS fan, I have little interest in consoles or non-touch handhelds, although I’d still get one if my friends had them for multiplayer. FPS with joystick or buttons = aiming with training wheels. Give me mouse--or touch!—precision and let me do my own aiming!)

    • Anonymous

      That's not aiming, it's cheating. No one has accuracy like that in real life so all you're doing is taking the experience even further away from realism. I prefer controllers because they do something a mouse cannot: they give you a degree of trial and error, just as firing a real gun does. You actually get to have firefights, where people miss and end up having to take cover to reload, rethink their postion and so on, rather than every bullet being dead on in some robotic FPS arcade where every kill is a headshot. The real fun comes in -trying- to hit your target, not hitting it flawlessly all of the time.

      • Fygo

        "I prefer controllers because they do something a mouse cannot: they give you a degree of trial and error"

        So you prefer the auto-aim that most of the console games offer you? Oh good for you...

      • C1ph3r-d1vyn3

        Riiiight, because you can't turn off auto-aim? Last I heard, it was buried away deep in that thing called an 'Options' menu.

      • Adams Immersive

        A bit of a tangent, but: console FPS’s can certainly be fun for some (even for me eventually, no doubt), and different strokes for different folks. No reason you should like what I do! But to clarify my own likes... neither a mouse nor a gamepad is much like a real gun, and that’s fine by me, since I’m not a gun fan, I’m a game fan. (And some shooters, like my favorite Quake Wars, add things like recoil and bobbing of your aim point, especially at long range, for added realism and complexity.)

        My desktop FPS experience has been very different from yours, even though I’m frankly pretty mediocre at them: it’s been all skill, with subtleties of cover and tactics and weapon choice, and a ton of variety from game to game. You get no help from the computer in a mouse-aimed FPS (or an equivalent trackpad/trackball/touchscreen situation). The skill involved may not be identical to the real world (and nor is a controller) but it’s skill alone, not cheating.

        Gamepad controller FPS aiming is not skill alone, because those games have auto-aim, whether people are aware of that or not. (There may be exceptions, but I don’t know of any.) So that you get your crosshairs near the target, and that’s good enough: the machine does the rest of the aiming for you, even if that’s visually concealed as much as possible. They have to do it that way, because the controller is so awkward for aiming purposes. Now, that doesn’t remove ALL the skill by any means! In fact, I agree that a gamepad controller makes aiming more difficult, if added difficulty is your main goal.

        But there are different KINDS of difficulty, leading to different kinds of fun. For my tastes, I want the challenge of my chosen tactics and the brains-and-reflexes of my opponents. I want DIRECT control, not INDIRECT control. Here’s what that means:

        DIRECT control means I move (my hand or finger on the mouse) left slightly, and my crosshair moves left slightly. I move quickly a long distance, and my crosshair does the same. I move fast or slow and my aim moves fast or slow too. I stop moving, and my crosshair stops moving. The crosshair simply does what my hand does—my hand is on the weapon directly--which is very real-world and natural feel, and by no means makes hitting a moving target easy or low-skill.

        INDIRECT control means I move (my hand or finger on the controller stick) up slightly, and my crosshair does something different: it begins to move and keeps moving. I stop moving my hand, and the crosshair still keeps moving, until I let go and let the stick snap back. Instead of moving slow or fast to make the crosshair move slow or fast, I change the distance I move my hand. Instead of speed = speed and distance = distance, we have distance = speed, and no immediate control over distance at all: you watch, and let go when the crosshair has moved the desired distance. Very unlike the real world.

        It’s kind of like the difference between remotely picking something up with a robotic crane, or just grabbing it yourself. The indirect control over the crane IS a challenge, just not a fun one to my tastes. I want the challenge to be in the game, and I want to meet that challenge directly without the need for auto-aim to compensate for frustrating controls.

        Or an even better analogy: moving your computer cursor with a mouse, vs. moving it with one of those trackpoint analog eraser-sticks.

        Gamepad controls ARE awesome for some things; especially vehicles/driving. I own a gamepad, and in fact I hold it in my left hand when I do my desktop mouse FPS gaming. (Less painful than a keyboard. Keyboards are awful!) So I’m not down on consoles; I just want to clarify why direct aiming is my passion. (And in fact, because of direct aiming, I see touch-based iOS shooters as more akin to desktop shooters than consoles or traditional handhelds are.) I do wish that console gamepad with the right-hand thumb trackball would catch on: problem solved! It has infinite movement range, rather than the limited range of a stick, and so direct aiming would be possible, with all the comfort of a gamepad.

        This has been Aiming Minutiae Minute, with your host, Adams Immersive. Tune in next week for “Splash Damage: A Treat For Your Feet!"

      • http://www.facebook.com/PixelShock Stephen Harrell

        @MidianGTX: WHAT?!? Your BRAIN and HANDS have 10x more control than you could ever muster through a controller. Any controller. And he's right. The mouse has been and always will be a far superior controller for shooters. FPS started on the PC and it will always be better on the PC. The mouse control is much more realistic (and accurate) since your whole wrist is involved with aiming instead of your thumb (sorta like your whole arm is used to actually aim a gun). ALL console shooters have a small amount of auto-aim built in. PC players don't need it. And using the mouse isn't cheating. That's ridiculous. It's just as hard to take down another skilled gamer using the same controls. You just need to sit down and force yourself to play with mouse-look more. There is no going back once it clicks.

        Regardless....all the console gamers are playing on 4 year old tech. Yuck. A rocking PC gaming rig totally tears them a new one. The PC is where the hardcore have always been. And they are still there. Nothing is going to change that.

      • C1ph3r-d1vyn3

        "...since your whole wrist is involved with aiming instead of your thumb (sorta like your whole arm is used to actually aim a gun)."
        >o> entertainment >> fictional >> not real. If someone prefers a mouse or controller, who gives? Only thing that matters is if you're having fun playing.

        "...all the console gamers are playing on 4 year old tech. Yuck. A rocking PC gaming rig totally tears them a new one."
        B/c everyone can afford a PC rig. I take it you have a job that provides you the income to have such a luxury. Some people are kids, teens, college students, even adults, etc. who simply can't afford expensive gaming-capable PC setups nor afford to keep them current w/upgrades. And it's not "yucky" (what is this, elementary?) as you say but if you feel that way, play your PC and don't worry about it.

        "The PC is where the hardcore have always been."
        No contest there: gaming didn't start on PCs but did flourish and has early roots there and FPS was born on PC (to my knowledge anyway). However, there's no need to stupidly bicker and fight over if FPS is better on PC or console: that's a retarded fanboy fight and it's all opinions. You like what you like and that's absolutely fine but there's no need to get all sideways w/it. The touchArcade comments section is becoming a seething battleground for fanboy rants and wars...blah blah blah.

      • SMP

        Hardcore..... man I really hate that word when it's used in relation to gaming

      • C1ph3r-d1vyn3

        Thank you!! No kidding!!

  • Keyboard

    So, video game industry... Where's PC in that list?

    On the serious note: In my Opinion the price of the iOS games has to do with some of the factors...

    • Raikagetaicho

      usually they have a separaly stadist.

  • CottonTail

    Does the iOS and Android revenue count only game sales or all application sales?

  • WDKtheV

    This article fails in two aspects. First, it is focused on market share and does not equate this to actual revenue. Second, it misses the point that despite the gains in smartphone market share, overall portable gaming decreased in comparison to console growth. Looks like more of a win for console gaming.

  • Anonymous

    No point arguing: AppStore has been out less than three years, look what it's done. Just look at the success of World of Goo on iOS compared to PC or Wii. Made loads more money on iOS in it's first iOS month than it's best sales month ever on PC or Wii. And this is a relatively old game now.

    I bought a PSP recently having always wanted one, and played through GT, both God of Wars, LBP, Midnight Club, and those titles were great. But I've (mostly) finished them and I'm having a hard time finding anything else of this quality on the PSP. I'd rather play that style of game on the PS3 anyway. iOS has an overwhelming avalanche of excellent titles that I hardly have time to keep up with. Just mostly stay out of the top charts, they're usually very average games. e.g. Aralon is better than Angry Birds, etc.

    • Raikagetaicho

      World of woo is 10 dolar in the wiiware(to be honest the wiiware is a bad joke for a online store)

  • ramoola

    For me it comes down to a balance of Replay Value and quality. For example: Infinity blade is a cool looking game but it sucks in terms of replay value. Other games like Fruit ninja are better in terms of replay but not in quality.

    It really depends on the console too. Some of them are better for quality, and others are better for replay value. Personally I prefer replay value more then quality.