Apple and Android outsell Nintendo and Sony handhelds

iOS and Android games are generating more cash than the Nintendo DS and Sony PSP. Click here for all the info.

iOS and Android games are generating more cash than Nintendo and Sony's handhelds, indicating that the future of portable gaming isn't dedicated consoles -- it's smart phones.

Research from analytics firm Flurry predicts iOS and Android's total US gaming revenue for 2011 will trump sales from Nintendo's DS and Sony's PSP handhelds combined. It's estimated that iOS and Android will own 58 per cent of the mobile gaming market by the end of the year, up from 34 per cent in 2010.

Nintendo had the portable gaming business sewn up in 2009, owning 70 per cent of the market's total revenue. This year Nintendo is reckoned to hold just 36 per cent of the market. Sony's PSP console flounders with just 6 per cent, down from, er... 11 per cent in 2009.

Both Nintendo and Sony make huge amounts of cash from their non-handheld businesses, and we wouldn't want to call these figures conclusive, but the success of mobile games in recent years can't be denied -- they're cheap, plentiful and dead easy to download.

Sales of Nintendo's 3DS, meanwhile, have proved disappointing, and Sony's upcoming Vita handheld won't be on sale in the UK until after Christmas, meaning Apple's iPod touch is more likely to be stuffing stockings this yuletide.

So it looks as though the days of paying several hundred quid for a portable console and then shelling out £30 per game could well be behind us.

Nintendo could always bite the bullet and put its games on iOS or Android. We'd love to play a bit of Mario on our iPhone , and the thought of a gorgeous touchscreen Zelda game for the iPad makes our hearts flutter. But would that be admitting defeat?

Do you think Nintendo and Sony are going the way of the dodo? Or are mobile games like Angry Birds just a flash in the pan? Educate us in the comments, or on our Facebook wall.

Image credit: Flurry

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About the author

Luke Westaway is a senior editor at CNET and writer/ presenter of Adventures in Tech, a thrilling gadget show produced in our London office. Luke's focus is on keeping you in the loop with a mix of video, features, expert opinion and analysis.

 

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