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The Phone Gaming Revolution: Do the PSP and DS Stand a Chance?

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Phones—most particularly smartphones, including the iPhone—have taken mobile gaming by storm. How has non-phone handheld gaming fared in light of this

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Games Interpretation: The Phone Gaming Revolution: Do the PSP and DS Stand a Chance?

 
Interpret Insight

Explosive growth of gaming on mobile phones during the past year, along with proportional decrease in
gaming on the Nintendo DS and Sony PSP, signals that phone gaming is rapidly chasing and in fact may be
on course to overtake non-phone handheld gaming very soon. Data from Interpret’s New Media Measure™
indicates that 43.8% of the overall phone/DS/PSP gaming market plays games on phones—a considerable
53.2% increase compared to a year ago—while the proportion of those who play on the DS or PSP has fallen
by 13%. Sony and Nintendo must act fast in developing and marketing new hardware and software in order
to remain relevant in the handheld gaming market.



The proliferation of smartphones and other advanced mobile phones into the non-business consumer market,
due to price drops for phones with increasingly robust functionality and aggressive marketing, has
unquestionably altered the handheld gaming landscape. Hardware and software advances have conferred on
contemporary mobile handsets the ability to easily run games nearly as sophisticated as those on the primary
non-phone gaming systems: the Nintendo DS and the Sony PlayStation Portable (PSP). The degree to which
consumers defect to multifunctional phones from the less-functional DS/PSP for gaming will have great
bearing on the future of those systems and their share of both market and mind, as well as their ultimate
viability as product offerings.

Over the past year, the phone gaming market has increased dramatically. According to Interpret’s New
Media Measure™, 16.7 million consumers now play games on a phone—43.8% of the overall phone/DS/PSP
gaming market, and a substantial 53.2% increase compared to a year ago (at which point only 10.9 million
consumers played games on phones). 1 By contrast, the number of consumers who play games on the DS or
PSP has increased by only 6.9% during the same ti
								
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