Friday, May 18, 2012

Handheld Videogame Sales

I finally got around to reading the various sales reports on handheld videogames, which came in during March.

The 3DS has sold 17 million units over the past year or so, following a slow start.  The PlayStation Vita has sold 1.2 million units over the three months it's been out.  Meanwhile, the iPad 3 sold 3 million units in three days, making it better and faster selling than its two competitors.

Reports say that Apple and Android make up about 2/3 of handheld gaming revenue.  This is compared to several years ago, when Nintendo had about 2/3 of handheld gaming revenue.  It's statistics like these that make me think the iPad is the best handheld gaming console on the market right now.

Why is the iPad so popular as a handheld gaming console?  Here are some guesses on my part.

  • iPad games are ridiculously cheaper.  99 cents for Angry Birds, versus $39.99 for Mario?
  • You can download games instantly, which means not having to visit GameStop.
  • Also, there's no hassle about new games and used games, because all the games are digital.  Apple's "back up your games to a computer and/or the iCloud" system assuages my fear that the games will magically disappear someday, because I don't have a physical copy of them.
  • The iPad plays games from older systems.  The 3DS doesn't play GBA games; the iPad 3 plays iPad 1 games just fine.
  • It's easier for game developers to update the game with new material or bug fixes, after the game is made.  I've seen a lot of my apps update. That's got to be near-impossible with handheld cartridges.
  • The iPad does a lot more than just play games.  The 3DS brags about its non-gaming features, like the camera and the Internet browser.  Let's just say that, in terms of those things, the iPad has the 3DS whipped.
I'd still like to see a gaming-exclusive iPad, that is, an iPad with more than one button.  But I imagine that won't be released anytime soon, as that would hurt backwards compatibility.  Or forwards compatibility.  Some kind of compatibility, anyway.


Anonymous said...

I totally agree on the price part, especially since you can get some PC/DS games on your ipod/iphone/ipad for a fraction of the price.
For example:
Lego Harry Potter Years 1-4 $4.99
Lego Harry Potter Years 5-7 $4.99
Awakening 1/2/3 (each) $2.99
Scribblenauts $5.99
Final Fantasy 1,2,3 (don't know all of those of the top of my head)

And older Games as well:
The Secret of Monkey Island
Putt Putt Saves the Zoo
Freddi Fish and the Case of the Stolen Conch Shell
Pajama Sam: Thunder and Lightning Aren't So Frighting
Spy Fox: Dry Cereal
Reader Rabbit

Anonymous said...

You want a game-only iPad--an HD touchscreen with multiple buttons? Then Nintendo's upcoming Wii U will be great for you! ;)

Zelda said...

Urgh. No matter how good of an idea it may seem, I'm never getting an iAnything. -_-

Anonymous said...

I do not have the i-cloud so I hope my i-pod games never "magically" disappear. That would be a total waste of money I spent on them, a tragedy. DX That's why I always go with getting the physical copy of any computer game, then I don't have to worry about the digital copy somehow disappearing someday. ;)
- K.C.

Anime Girl said...

@Anonymous at May 18, 2012 5:54 PM Seriously, I tried playing the Lego Harry Potter Years 1-4, DOESN'T WORK... for me. TT_TT