There was a time when mobile gaming was nearly synonymous with the word Gameboy, oh how the mighty have fallen. According to the latest report from IDC and App Annie, Google Play has now joined Apple in surpassing traditional gaming handhelds, at least in terms of dollars spent on mobile games.
Let’s be honest, is anyone that surprised? As smartphones and tablets have become more commonplace, more folks are moving away from systems like the PS Vita and Nintendo 3DS in favor of cheaper mobile games.
There are currently 1.25 billion smartphones and 180 million tablets across the globe, compared to less than 200 million handheld systems. Although Nintendo 3DS and Sony Vita games are generally much more expensive than mobile gaming apps, these handheld consoles just can’t compete when it comes to the shear number of devices out there.
So what does surpassing traditional handhelds indicate for Google?
As you might already know, Google has put a lot of effort into further expanding its focus on gaming this year. Not only did Google I/O 2013 feature several sessions related to gaming, but Google also recently introduced the Google Play Games platform. Not to mention the recent popularity of Android-powered micro-consoles (though most of these devices don’t actually have Google Play support).
Usurping Sony and Nintendo’s handheld game sales might not mean much for Google in the grand scheme of things, but it could be an indication that their recent gaming efforts are already starting to pay off. The big question is whether Google can keep the momentum going and eventually surpass Apple as well.
Right now they are a long ways behind Apple when it comes to consumer game spending, but that doesn’t mean they can’t catch up. There was a time when Android was way behind Apple’s iPhone and iPad in device activations and market presence, and look at where Google’s OS stands now.
Are you surprised that Google Play has already one-upped traditional handhelds in turns of dollars earned from game sales? How much longer before Google Play surpasses Apple in the gaming world as well?