Feb 7, 2013

Kids Replacing Game Consoles with Mobile Gaming

Last week I was at a friend's house.  Their 4 year old daughter wanted to see my iPhone.  Why?  She wanted to play games.  I was amazed at how quickly she could navigate through the games and apps...at 4 years old.

If trends continue, mobile games may eventually replace gaming consoles such as the Wii, Xbox, and PlayStation.  According to Pew Research, 67 per cent of all the time spent using mobile devices is spent playing games.  That’s an impressive rate compared to the 10 per cent of time people spend on social networks such as Facebook.

Mobile gaming is also bringing in the money.  76 of the 100 top selling iOS apps are games.  80 per cent of the $10 billion app industry is being generated by game sales.

And for the first time ever, the console industry is expecting a new generation of devices that will fail to outperform their predecessors in terms of sales.  Dedicated gaming sales - including living-room consoles and handhelds - are in the midst of a four-year tailspin.   Game industry sales were down 24% in September compared to the same period last year.

With shortened attention spans, today's kids prefer quick, bite-size gaming sessions - something consoles have never been good at.  Why go to the living room, wait for the console to power on, load the game from the main menu and wait for it to boot, when you can simply tap an icon on a smartphone?

Sure, everyone wants to see what Nintendo has in store with the Wii U and what Sony will do with the PlayStation 4.  However, Nintendo has recently announced that its projected sales figure for the upcoming Wii U has been slashed by 17 per cent.

This doesn’t mean consoles are going to disappear overnight.  But since mobile gaming can perform just as well as consoles and also comes with the added bonus of mobility, it’s expected that the next generation of kids is going to prefer them over consoles.

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