Games developers are increasingly focusing on producing titles for mobile phones to offset falling sales of traditional consoles and handheld gaming devices.
Research firm iSuppli says the ubiquity of cellphones is making them a viable alternative to regular platforms, particularly since sales of games-capable handsets are expected to grow 11% during 2010, while sales of handheld gaming devices and consoles stall.
The firm forecasts 1.27 billion gaming phones will be sold in 2010, compared to 38.9 million gaming handhelds, and 52.3 million consoles.
The broad penetration of mobile phones makes them attractive to casual gamers, and while Microsoft’s Kinect and Sony’s Move motion sensing platforms could boost console sales in the coming years, iSuppli holds out little hope of a recovery in sales of handheld games devices.
Smartphone analytics firm Flurry reported in March that Apple’s iPhone alone had nabbed 5% of the US’ $10 billion gaming market, with 30,000 games released on the App Store since July 2008.
NPD Group reported a similar trend in February, noting a 20.8% decline in games console hardware sales.
The demise of the console market has long been predicted, with Wedbush Morgan Securities analyst Michael Pachter noting in 2009 that the low-price of the iPod touch was one of the greatest threats to regular games publishers.