Smartphones Dominate Sony and Nintendo in Portable Gaming Revenue

Flurry Analytics, a group that studies the financials of mobile applications, has just released a blog post that reveals that Android and iOS have surpassed the Sony PSP and the Nintendo DS as the biggest market force in portable gaming.

Here’s a chart that shows the incredible growth of smartphone gaming over the past few years:

Note that these charts represent U.S. revenue only. Android and iOS have been grouped together to illustrate the trend toward smartphone gaming. For the 2011 pie chart, they’ve estimated how November and December sales will shake out for all platforms. And the “Nintendo DS” slice for 2011 includes game sales for the 3DS system as well.

It’s no surprise that smartphone gaming is growing fast, but the size and speed of the impact shown in these charts is stunning. In two years, smartphone gaming has gone from representing 19% of portable gaming revenue to 58%, while Nintendo DS’s share shrank from an overwhelming 70% to 36%. These charts show with crystal clarity that Sony and Nintendo revenue is shrinking fast as smartphone gaming snowballs, and that trend doesn’t show any signs of slowing.

On the other hand, the Nintendo DS and Sony PSP are at the end of their life cycles. They’re seeing a drought of games as developers shift their focus to the companies’ next generation of hardware, the PS Vita, which will hit U.S. shelves in February 2012, and the Nintendo 3DS, which came out in March.

But how much impact Sony and Nintendo’s next-generation hardware will have is an open question. There’s no doubt that a new, faster iPhone model will come out every year, while just about every month sees the release of powerful new Android devices.

What do you think about this trend away from dedicated handhelds and toward smartphone gaming? Do you think the Nintendo 3DS and the PS Vita will turn the tides around next year? Let us know in the comments section below.

[Via Flurry Analytics]