Apple’s iOS App Store and Google Play experienced huge game sales growth during the third quarter of 2013. This surge in App spending has vaulted these platforms above the Nintendo 3DS and the PlayStation Vita for the first time ever. Analytic firm App Annie reports that the App Store and Google Play spending on games combined was three times the amount of that on dedicated handhelds in the third quarter of 2013.
“Smartphones’ ease of use, low price point (due to subsidies), and multi-functional use as gaming and primary communications device have given them a ubiquity across a broad demographic that portable consoles will never have.”
“Add apps that are fun and engaging, and that deeper penetration can equate to big dollars for game app developers.”
- Marcos Sanchez, VP of corporate communications at App Annie
A Nintendo representative has told Engadget that the company has no plans to offer mini games on iOS and Android. Nintendo has previously said it would use smartphone devices and tablets to market Nintendo products. The news came after Japanese news publication The Nikkei said that Nintendo would offer smartphone games the chance to play trial software on iOS and Android devices.
“Nikkei’s article contains information previously stated by Mr Iwata during past press conferences, including statements which relate to Nintendo’s willingness to make use of smart devices to promote our products.
However during such past announcements Mr Iwata has also stated that Nintendo’s intention is not to make Nintendo software available on smart devices and as such, we can confirm that there are no plans to offer minigames on smartphone devices.”
Thanks, Simply G
Harvest Moon creator Yasuhiro Wada has given a new interview in which he discusses his latest game, Hometown Story, which is coming to both 3DS and mobile devices like iOS. Wada revealed that the 3DS version will be the most complete version of the game, as the iOS incarnation will be missing side stories with some of the villagers in the game. In both versions, the player runs a shop while buying and selling items to villagers, but on 3DS, Wada says players will be able to “interact with the villagers and get involved with their story.” No official released date has yet been announced for Hometown Story, but if it’s anything like the Harvest Moon series, UK gamers may not be getting their hands on the game for quite a while. A more complete version of Wada’s comments appears below.
The iOS version does not have episodes with other villagers, players just run a shop. You get new items, you can save money, you can sell rare items on iOS too. Eventually, you will get new customers, but that’s pretty much all you can do. The core system of running the shop is the same on 3DS, but you will get to interact with the villagers and involved with their story. …[On iOS] there will be rare items and villagers, but no story episodes. If you want to play even more there is the 3DS version.
A new report by App Annie reveals that for the first time, Android sales figures have surpassed those of “Gaming-Optimized Handhelds,” or all Nintendo and Sony handheld consoles. The report also found that, when combined, Android and iOS sales were four times greater than the combined sales of Nintendo and Sony.
These huge numbers further illustrate the current trend toward mobile gaming, which threatens to have a devastating effect on the handheld market shares of Nintendo and Sony. Although 3DS sales figures have been nothing short of robust lately, the growing market of mobile gaming certainly runs the risk of chipping away at Nintendo, especially when several games can be found on both platforms.
The App Annie analysis also showed a stark increase in mobile game sales coming from Asia as compared to the previous quarter’s sales, while sales figures for Gaming-Optimized Handhelds bounced back in Europe after being relatively low in last quarter’s report.
Research firms IDC and App Annie have both conducted a study which found that tablet and smartphone gaming on Apple products have eclipsed Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation Vita software sales during the first quarter of 2013. This is the first time that iOS game sales alone have beaten the Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation Vita. Previously it was iOS App Store and Google Play store combined that had outsold dedicated gaming handheld sales.
Granted the Nintendo 3DS doesn’t have as many games as Apple’s App Store, but according to Nintendo’s vice president of sales and marketing, Scott Moffitt, Nintendo’s latest handheld console boasts superior titles. While Moffitt admits there are good games on mobile platforms, he thinks that because many of its games were well-received by video game fans and critics alike, the Nintendo 3DS is tough to combat.
“With software, as with most things, there’s a distinct difference between quantity and quality. The website 148apps.biz recently calculated that there are currently 139,000 different games actively available on the [Apple] app store. One hundred and thirty-nine thousand. Huge number. That number is way too big to wrap your head around, so I try to think about it this way. If I wanted to spend just fifteen minutes sampling each one of those games, I’d be at it non-stop for four years. That’s a ton of caffeine.
“Obviously there are good games available for mobile platforms. But the point is, the Nintendo 3DS has a record of quality that’s hard to challenge.”
“Nowhere else in portable gaming is high quality found so frequently.”
-Nintendo Vice President of Sales and Marketing Scott Moffitt
Injustice: Gods Among Us launched yesterday in North America on Wii U, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. A free-to-play iOS version of the fighting game was released on April 3rd, and players who download it will be able to unlock content for two of the three home console versions. According to Siliconera, although it includes unique features like off-TV play, the Wii U version of Injustice: Gods Among Us doesn’t support the unlocking of content via the game’s iOS variation.
Smash hit iOS and Android title, Puzzle & Dragons, is coming to the Nintendo 3DS in Japan, according to Dengeki Nintendo and CoroCoro magazine. The free to play title has already amassed over 12 million users. In just three months Puzzle & Dragons has doubled from six million. The game has been out since last February on iOS and last September on Android in Japan. Puzzle & Dragons was released in the US and Europe in November.
Developer Tomorrow Corporation has announced that it has, so far, sold around 250,000 copies of Little Inferno, which is available for purchase on iOS, PC and Wii U. Considering the peculiar nature of the game, in that players purchase items, throw them into a fireplace, and burn them, it has sold extremely well. If you’ve played Little Inferno, are you surprised that so many people purchased the game?
Stopping by the booth would allow consumers to test the demo version, getting a feel for the possible future conversion. If it goes ahead, Wii U owners could access the eShop and directly download indie ports, making fresh, creative content even more accessible.