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Consumer spending on mobile games tops that for portable consoles

The market for dedicated portable game consoles from Nintendo and Sony appears to be shrinking due to competition from iOS and Android tablets and smartphones. Data from IDC and App Annie shows that fourth-quarter 2012 consumer spending on game apps from the App Store and Google Play was greater than spending on those portable consoles.

In the Portable Gaming Report (PDF), the two companies noted that well over 20 billion games were downloaded across the mobile platforms in 2012, and that over a third of app downloads were games.

The report also pointed out a fascinating statistic -- in terms of total consumer spending on games, Nintendo and Apple were almost equal. That Apple could become a major player in gaming in less than five years since the App Store first opened its virtual doors is amazing, particularly when the Nintendo DS and its successors have been around since 2004.

One other key comment from the IDC / App Annie report was that purchases of dedicated game consoles appear to be highly seasonal, with 60 percent of spending in the fourth quarter of 2012 being done in December. Game app purchases, on the other hand, don't exhibit the seasonal variability of the dedicated units.

[via The Verge]

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