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Mobile Gaming from Tablets and Smartphones Threatening Handheld Gaming Consoles

As the technology on tablets and smartphones become more advanced, the mobile gaming niche also grows as well.

In fact, it has become such a strong niche that the rise of gaming on tablets and smartphones is threatening developers of dedicated handheld gaming consoles. In 2013, both such as Sony and Nintendo, the top companies in creating companies handheld gaming devices are likely to ship only around 38 million gaming devices. This figure is far from the 47 million units that the companies shipped during their peak year, 2008.

Nonetheless, Sony and Nintendo are hopeful for the continued demand for portable gaming devices, relying mostly on core gamers as well as those who do not possess smartphones and or tablets. In addition, the gaming niche still has a lot of potential to be tapped, whether on tablets and smartphones or on handheld consoles.

To address the trend, Nintendo lowered the price of the Nintendo 3DS, even after it had a strong launch in 2011. When the demand for the device became weak in the second quarter of the same year, they reduced the price to around $170, from the original $249. Moreover, they added new titles to the device. This new offering allowed Nintendo increase their sales to around 15 million units that year.

Meanwhile, Sony also gave a low price for the Sony Vita in Japan considering its specifications. However, the company was at least able to sell a good number of the device. Sony and Nintendo might also take advantage of the trend by adding mobile features to their portable gaming solutions. This, however, might be a temporary solution.

Today, the sheer number of features offered by tablets and smartphones allow them to become easy choices over dedicated gaming devices. If Sony, Nintendo, and other manufacturers of these gaming devices continue to be myopic about business, the whole industry might simply die off.


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