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Consumer spending on iOS games outpaces 3DS, Vita

That's the word from research firm IDC and App Annie, which released a study that found that App Store spending is easily outpacing gaming handhelds.

IDC/App Annie

An increasing number of people are deciding to dedicate their cash to Apple's iOS rather than traditional gaming handhelds, according to a new study.

A joint study performed by research firms IDC and App Annie found that during the first quarter of 2013, total spending on iOS App Store games outpaced that of dedicated handhelds such as Nintendo's 3DS and PlayStation Vita. It was the first time that iOS games outpaced the traditional devices. In the fourth quarter, iOS was slightly behind gaming handhelds in total spending.

For now, Google Play is still a distant third, tallying about half of the total spending on iOS. However, both App Annie and IDC believe that Google Play game spending will surpass traditional handhelds in the second quarter.

The findings are not all that surprising. Gaming has become one of the chief pastimes on smartphones and tablets, and that has significantly hindered adoption of traditional portable gaming devices. In his estimates on April game sales in the U.S., Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter said that he believes Sony sold only 55,000 PlayStation Vita units last month. That doesn't bode well for Sony or the handheld gaming space, and could significantly change the dynamics of the portable-gaming market.