Flawed report paints grim picture for handheld gaming

A report came out today comparing the revenue of handheld gaming devices to that of mobile devices. Done by mobile analytics firm Flurry, the study finds that a great shift has taken place over the past three years. Between 2009 and 2011 (with the last two months of this year being projected based on data from previous years) mobile game sales have gone from 19% to 58%. Nintendo DS game sales have dropped from 70% to 36% while those of the PSP have gone from 11% to 6%. 

Android and iOS market shares have also skyrocketed, going from about 20% in 2009 to almost 60% this year with sales of mobile games jumping from $500 million of $2.7 billion total portable gaming sales to $1.9 billion of $3.3 billion in the last three years. Adversely, Nintendo’s stock is down, although Flurry fails to mention Sony’s handheld at all other than to include it in the three year percentage chart, and ignores sales for 3DS games.

While it is nice to see that mobile gaming is doing well, this report feels unbalanced. I understand that Flurry is a mobile analytics firm and so will want to sing the praises of mobile devices, but there are ways to do it without tipping the scales (and how much do they need to be tipped, really). Although Android and iOS devices are relativity similar, they aren’t identical and I wonder why they felt the need to make them a single category while keeping handheld devices separate. The firm has also completely ignored the 3DS. Granted the 3DS is new, and its sales may not make a huge difference, totally ignoring it makes me less willing to take this report seriously. It would, at the least, give a more balanced view of where mobile devices stand when compared to handheld gaming devices. 

I’m not saying that mobile gaming is small or should be ignored, it is doing well and revenue is clearly up but the report has a pretty obvious slant. Reports like this are interesting, and do have some important information in them, but it would be nice if they would present all the facts rather than picking and choosing to suit their needs.

Is it Game Over for Nintendo DS and Sony PSP? [Flurry Blog via Shacknews]

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Victoria Medina
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