The worldwide market for portable and mobile games is expected to grow to $11.7 billion by 2014, driven – in large part – by Apple’s iPhone and iPod Touch systems, which will account for 24% of total portable game software sales within five years, according to a forecast from DFC Intelligence.
Though DFC estimates that dedicated portable game systems from top game makers Nintendo and Sony will still lead the market during the forecast period, it now appears that growth for these devices has peaked.
In contrast, “the platforms from Apple are expected to be responsible for the bulk of market growth over the next few years,”? said DFC analyst David Cole.
Though games will be a huge growth opportunity, the study also found that they are expected to account for only about 23% of all application sales on the iPhone.
Mobile Gaming Habits
A separate DFC study on the mobile game habits of more than 8,000 game players in North America and Europe found? that 54% of respondents in North America and 69% of respondents in Europe had played a game on their mobile phone in the past year, and 45% of respondents in North America and 36% in Europe had paid to purchase an application for their mobile phone.
Among respondents, the Apple App Store was? most popular service for making purchases. Across both North America and Europe about 15% of respondents already owned an iPhone or iPod Touch, compared with 29% who owned a Nintendo DS.
More Gamers Everywhere
Recent research from other sources points to a broadening of the demographics of video gamers. For example, a study by Greystripe found that more than 59% of US mothers who own an iPhone let their children use it, and 61% of these moms download games or educational content specifically for their kids.
Another study by CTAM found that approximately half (47%) of online seniors in the US regularly play free online games.