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Smartphones take 58 per cent of portable gaming revenue

New US study suggests Sony PSP only accounts for 6 per cent ahead of Vita release

A new study that shows thanks to the rise of the smartphone, Apple and Android now has the largest share of the portable gaming market, ahead of traditional devices like the Nintendo DS and Sony PSP.

In statistics provided by analytics firm Flurry, iOS and Android had a 58 per cent share of the revenue from US portable game software. The Nintendo DS had only 36 per cent, with Sony's PSP trailing at just 6 per cent.

In 2009 mobile games took just 19 per cent of the market, rising to 34 per cent in 2010, while Nintendo has seen the opposite, falling from a dominant 70 per cent in 2009.

The study calculated the changing revenue totals for the portable gaming market at $2.7 billion for 2009, $2.5 billion in 2010 and $3.3 billion in 2011. Those numbers, combined with cheap and easy access to games through App Stores, and the rise of free-to-play revenues, appear to make for a profitable combination.

Flurry also points out the there are around 250 million iOS devices and 190 million Android devices currently in circulation.

What the study doesn't make clear is whether or not the figures take into account the recent 3DS release, nor does it acknowledge the relative age of the Sony PSP, which is soon to be replaced by the PlayStation Vita, a factor that could stop consumers investing in software for a machine they're planning to replace.

The figures were compiled by Flurry from NPD reports, public data and information from mobile devices. Figures for November and December 2011 were estimated, based previous performance ratios.

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Rachel Weber

Senior Editor

Rachel Weber has been with GamesIndustry since 2011 and specialises in news-writing and investigative journalism. She has more than five years of consumer experience, having previously worked for Future Publishing in the UK.