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Analyst: Market shrinking for gaming handhelds, but there’s hope

Friday, 16th December 2011 16:20 GMT By Andrew Groen

Nintendo and Sony are fighting an uphill battle against the staggering popularity of smartphone devices these days. But he and another analyst say there’s reason for handheld gamers to hold out hope.“The market for adult casual gaming on portable gaming hardware has practically disappeared since … smartphones and tablets have arrived,” Peter Warman told Venture Beat.

“As long as Apple and Samsung do not promote their iPod-type devices as portable game consoles for kids, the 3DS might be around for a while … [and] the Vita will cater perfectly to [tech-minded youngsters],” Warman added.

Jesse Divnich of EEDAR also offered some commentary tempering the handhelds-must-die attitude in the gaming industry.

“The sandbox may not be as big as it was back in 2009, but there is still plenty of room for Sony and Nintendo to generate significant profits, as well as the third-party publishers that support them,” he said.

“There will always be a large and significant market for dedicated portable gaming, but we do believe it is a shrinking category that will eventually plateau to a sustainable market size for at least two competitors,” he continued.

So according to these guys there’s no reason to fear that handhelds will go extinct any time soon, but the fans need to keep it alive. There’s no question that it’s going to become a more niche market, but that may not be a bad thing. Perhaps their game catalogs will start to skew more towards hardcore gamers than the younger audience they cater to now.

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10 Comments

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  1. Gheritt White

    Maybe so, but is *definitely* the last gen of dedicated handheld gaming consoles.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Erthazus

    It’s not the last gen of dedicated gaming platforms.

    Nintendo will absolutely make another one thats for sure, i don’t know about Sony, but Nintendo is 100% because their 3DS is underpowered, not to mention that portables are very popular in Japan.

    + there are a lot of things how you can innovate handheld gaming and without “BUTTONS” smartphones and tablets are not awesome for gaming.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Kabby

    Make a comment, counter their own comment, reinforce the comments of the general public, back down from anything they’ve actually said and say everything will be fine. Now, time for golf. Toodaloo.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. OlderGamer

    Gaming on the go won’t be fading, but over priced dedicated gaming devices will be. And are.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. Erthazus

    @4, i think games will be cheaper in the end.

    40$ for a portable game is outrageous.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. DSB

    @4 Absolutely. It’s just a question of breaking the control barrier. Once you make a phone that doesn’t overtly court gamers, but can do anything all the same, then you’re looking at nothing but redundancy for dedicated handhelds in my opinion.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. TD_Monstrous69

    I don’t believe handheld gaming’s going away anytime soon. But I do agree with the article, the fans would need to keep it alive, as well as developers and publishers supporting the platform. But I do believe that the Vita looks to have carved out a nice niche for itself within the tablet and handheld market. Also, I think the Vita could be an indicator of what Sony might possibly implement with their next generation Playstation home console as far as user interface is concerned.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. The_Red

    @2 Good call on Nintendo. Heck, they’ll probably add one megabyte of RAM to the system, add something gimmicky and slap a new shiny name on it sell to the masses.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. stealth

    The 3ds is outpacing the ds in every region witth more support

    Its selling MORE than the ds did. MORE 3ds games have gone platinum than ds titles had

    Theres no proof phones are taking anything away

    #9 2 years ago
  10. back_up

    only 3ds is shrinking because kids are tired of playing one game 1 mn times

    PSP vita market increasing everyday

    #10 2 years ago