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NPD: Stats Show Kids Are Ditching Nintendo Handheld Products For Apple Products

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Statistics provided by the NPD group show that children these days are ditching Nintendo handheld products in favour of those designed by Apple. The NPD’s survey of more than 4,200 kids ages 2 to 17 found that 26% play games on iPhones, up from 11% in 2011. By comparison, 25% of kids surveyed play games on Nintendo’s DS devices, down from 37% two years ago.  The survey also found that 21% of kids play games on Apple’s iPad, up from 5% in 2011, and 19% play games on the iPod Touch, up from 18%. Some 23% play games on Android smartphones, a device category not measured two years ago. The Nintendo 3DS is only being used by 9% of young people, after being on the market roughly 30 months.

“Kids are engaged with mobile devices as less expensive tablets and an increasing amount of hand-me-down phones create greater accessibility to these platforms than before.”
-NPD analyst Liam Callahan said in a statement.

Thanks, Iceazeama

148 comments

      1. Where were you all this Summer? The 3DS sells sky rocketed because of Animal Crossing Alone…

      2. ow you hater everytime i see you it’s to comment something negative don’t you have a life maybe wife and children to spemd time with cause what you’re doing now is pointless and sad

      3. 3ds is not the fastest selling system of all time, it still has not managed to reach the sucess of the original ds, and the sales of 3ds continue to fall. yes, 3ds is selling decently, but sales are dropping anyway,

      4. What he or she trying to say it is at the top of the chart for past couple of months. If this keep up then the Nintendo 3DS probably will become the best selling console.

      5. “If this keep up then the Nintendo 3DS probably will become the best selling console.”

        And it won’t.

        Sales are slumping because people want new consoles. Pre-orders are through the roof everywhere. @yosp (Shuhei Yoshida) for instance, recently mentioned those numbers being in the “millions” worldwide for just the PS4.

        The 3DS won’t come close to touching those systems numbers this holiday season. It’s a pipe dream. That especially goes for the Wii U as well.

        Mark my words or bookmark this post and watch it all come to fruition in the next few months.

      6. Don’t worry about it. I understand you and I just saying if this will keep up the trend. I think it will sell a lot of consoles for the holiday if you ask me. Will it hit the mark? I will answer it is possible but it is unlikely. Yes, people want new things such as Xbox One and PS4.

        But if you compared the prices and maybe Wii U might sell a lot due to low price. After all, over the history the cheapest console usually sell the most.

        I say wait until after the holiday and we can find out what sales are then.

      7. Sorry but your stupid for comparing handheld sales with console sales and on top of that you’re comparing a launch of new products with the third year of a product knowing the others will sell cause of preorders are you stupid ? or are you just trolling ? honest question

      8. I like how you try to create some arbitrary difference between hardware sold and the numbers corresponding with them. It doesn’t matter what it is – a handheld is a gaming device and other devices in the same market will almost certainly have an impact on buyer’s decisions this holiday season.

        More than half of the 3DS’ lifetime sales are coming from Japan and yet It consistently tracks below the original line of DS handhelds. There is absolutely no reason to believe the 3DS will have a spectacular ending in the U.S. when statistics have shown that’s only doing “decent” at best. Go look up the monthly NPD numbers and come back to me. Then go look up the Japanese figures in comparison (Media Create).

        Launch hype is straight through the roof, the western audience want *consoles*, not kiddy Pokemon boxes. It really isn’t difficult to put two and two together.

        But clearly you were stupid enough to miss those specific details, so why should I bother talking sense into to the real idiot here? :P

      9. Seems like you’re the idiot here it sells beter than any gaming hardware out there by your logic ps3 failed cause ps2 sold double the amount please go troll somewhere else

      10. No it doesn’t, lol. It’s only selling well recently the past few months because console sales are down across the board. It doesn’t mean jack for the long term, you retarded assclown. Even then, it’s not even that much more than the 360. This month the 360 sold 96k and the 3DS about 130k orso. The 360 hardware is almost 8 YEARS OLD.

        The 3DS is about 32m worldwide, and the 360 well over 78m. Do the math.

        The 3DS will NEVER match the original DS numbers and that’s pretty much fact based on its LTD so far and market trends. The gaming market is not the same anymore. Those casuals are gone to mobile now as these stats show it.

        Watch and see it all happen, as I said to the other guy, bookmark this post, come back to it after those months and see how you’ll be wrong and I’ll be right.

        Goodbye, I have little patience for ignorant dumbasses.

      1. We know that after 13, most teen girls are obviously going to get smartphones, after all, its their years of rage.

  1. This proves that the 2DS design shape wouldn’t matter if it is was able to fit in your pocket or not. If kids can play with iPads, which are big, then the 2DS wouldn’t matter, either. While it may not be an appealing design, it will still be good for kids.

      1. Actually he or she does have a point. I thought it was a dumb idea ever and people are brainwash but iPad couldn’t fit into someone pocket anyway so Nintendo might up to something.

      2. The target audience, kids, will mostly likely be wearing a backpack anyway. And besides, the tight-jeans craze makes the pocket only usable for thin and small items. Also, a lot of usage/gaming time on these device are done at home anyway. Pocket-ability and mobility is overrated.

      3. Im happy the 2ds will be avalible. My nephew screw his 3ds screen and wants another so ill probably give him a 2ds.

      4. Well the clam-like device can break easily compared to non-clam-like devices. All you have to do is drop the open clam-like device and it is mostly break. I saying for all common clam-like devices not just Nintendo 3DS.

      5. The clam-shell design protects the 3DS screen so there’s no reason to change it imo.

        As for dropping it. The 3DS can survive a couple of falls, but I see exactly what you’re talking about.

      6. He will screw it regardless of design. He used a nail has a stilus. So is better he screw a less expensive one than the more expensive.

      7. It’s meant to be a budget system, they took out the 3D and the clam shell design to reduce costs.

      8. Lets compare logics shall we?

        Nintendo: A doomed company releases a new cheaper version of their handheld targeted to young children who can’t get a 3ds because of the 3d.

        Sony: A thriving company releases a new ”improved” version of their dying handheld controller meanwhile the owners of the original version have theirs collecting dust because of the lack of games.

        Use your brain and tell me which is the better investment. Also, please learn to spell.

  2. The 3DS is still doing well either way so i could personal care less about kids ditching it, plus with Pokemon X and Y i’m pretty sure that would prove this wrong.

    1. im happy that im part of the generation that grew up with a SNES. kids these day dont know what they’ve missed and what they are missing right now

      1. I’m not. Seeing what they were then and what they’ve become now is just painfully pitiful.

  3. Hmm. Nintendo has often held a position of reliance on it’s quality software being only available on Nintendo platforms, and for that very reason I (foreseeably) will always buy my next-gen Nintendo consoles first, but it may be becoming apparent that kids aren’t interested enough in Nintendo’s content to abandon their all-purpose tablets and smartphones, where they can play Angry Birds and the like to their hearts’ content. I hope this doesn’t shine too true.

  4. So they’re essentially trading in their systems capable of good, quality games (ex. Animal Crossing, Pokémon) for devices capable of frickin AWFUL games. Bitch please.

    1. Actually that’s kinda good because when there’s a game they want so bad they have to buy the console again and that means more sells xD Well that’s only a good Dream that i wish could happen.

    1. How the heck if they aren’t out yet? Unless those are pre orders in wich case is almost impossible to fallow.

      1. Download doesn’t count either so it’s good that it went from 8th to 5th in a matter of a week and this is only from the end of the 7th. So think about how all these awesome news that came these few days would affect the sells lol

  5. This is just proof that their is a conspiracy against Nintendo from western media and companies. It’s a FACT that the 3DS is the number one selling console worldwide. It’s a FACT that it is the fastest-selling console of all time on pace to outsell the original DS which is THE best-selling console of all time. It is a fact that despite Nintendo only selling 160,000 Wii U’s in a fiscal quarter AT A LOSS, Nintendo still made a profit because of the 3DS sales. It’s a FACT that Pokemon games rip sales records to shreds on Nintendo handhelds and Pokemon X and Y is being released simultaneously with the launch a $129 version of the DS built for kids.

    None of that was mentioned in this article because if it was then the whole point of this article would be null and void. To those of you who revel in the idea of Nintendo’s demise I have to break some news to you.

    Happen-not-gonna. You can hate Nintendo all you want. You can twist the truth all you want. You can hide facts all you want. You can over inflate negative news about Nintendo all you want. If you life is that pathetic that you have to do such things in order to feel better about yourself I pity you, but rest-assured Nintendo will be just fine. They aren’t going to lose one wink of sleep, and they will continue to stuff their mattresses with 100 dollar bills much to your anguish and consternation.

  6. Not surprised and I blame Nintendo for putting 3D on there handheld device it turned off alot of people. Still tho kids would rather play on an iPad rather than any console or handheld from any of the big 3,s products(Sony, micro, Nintendo) so this news is kinda dumb

    1. 3D mostly turned off concerned parents or ones who thought it’d ruin their eyesight. I don’t think it’s a bad gimmick–if done right. (I hated that the 3D was one-sided.) Businesswise, it was a bad, risky move on Nintendo, since 3D doesn’t come cheap.

  7. So if only 9% have a 3DS how many have a PS Vita? Also, if Android device were not relevant enough to survey from “a few years ago”, and Nintendo’s numbers went down, isn’t it possible that more people are buying tablets and smartphones rather than “ditching” 3DS’s and DS’s?

    I swear people need to do better research nowadays.

  8. It is yet to be understood whether mobile device (“smartphones” and tablets, etc) gaming is a fad that will fade in the coming years, or if it will change the gaming industry (for better or worse). Generally rapid growth trends bubble and burst. Only time will tell. I highly doubt that this thorn in the side will truly hurt Nintendo. Personally I think the completion is good (even if it turns out to be temporary). It will (hopefully) drive Nintendo to reassess some things, and really push their innovative abilities.

    1. Wake up and smell the coffee! Mobile gaming is definitely not a fad. It’s already changed the industry (mostly for the worse) Time has already told. If you don’t realize this, you have been asleep for the last 6 years. It’s a huge market that (a.) Nintendo is missing out one, and (b.) slowly bleeding Nintendo dry.

      Nintendo needs to make a kick ass portable gaming tablet, and a kick ass mobile gaming phone. You need to be able to stream audio and watch movies on a 3ds, and region locking is dumb.

  9. So if 25% of kids are playing on the DS (compared with 37% earlier) and 9% are playing on 3DS — doesn’t that mean that 34% are still playing on Nintendo handhelds — and a 4% drop isn’t really that significant — in fact it may be within the polling margin of error?

    1. Yes, but isn’t it 3%?
      This article is bias against Nintendo. The original source is just pointing out how smart device usage for the age group has increased and that kids are spending equal time playing on them as they do on game consoles. Really, it impacts video games as a whole, not just Nintendo.
      It’s just another “Nintendo Doom” article.

  10. I am not a dumb Nintendo as I can often read here but I have to say I found that study is a lot of sh*t. Firstly, it’s an American study which does not reflect the international trend 9as the yank think to believe). So far I know the Iphone is still $399 and still much expensive than a 3DS. Also this study does compare with the best seller handle game and not with all the handle set. And it still does not means children,like everybody else can’t have both systems. In a certain way, it like saying people prefer the Ipad and ditch the Iphone. it just an article to attract attention nothing else.

    1. No, I think you miss the point, or are not around enough people with children (I don’t know, but your comments lead me to think so)
      The problem is this, adults buy iphones, ipads, and android devices, many adults play casual games on these devices. What is not happening is these parents are not buying their kids additional gaming devices (like a 3ds or PSP) they just let their kids play with their phones or ipads or whatever. Also, kids can do stuff like; stream audio, watch movies, and youtube on an iphone or android, but not on a 3DS

      Additionally Nintendo has a marketing problem, once kids hit a certain age, they seem to favor Apple products over Nintendo products. Think whatever you want, but I have seen this happen over and over again with friends kids, once they hit about 11 or 12, Nintendo is not “cool” anymore and they want the more “grown up” devices like and ipad or iphone.

      1. Hi Stevie, the parents I know do not let their kids to play with an Ipad or Iphone which cost a lot of money, the same goes for Android phones. Saying that I do not completely disagree with your point and How many time we heard parents having £1,000 of bills cause they let their children playing with their devices. i still think the study far from being complete and show just one type of situation. i do believe both system can cohabit together and handle game like home console have a bright future.

  11. Kids who knows shit about REAL videogames and only knows about Candy Crush and Angry Birds… way to go gamers! -_-“

  12. Please stop putting these shitty news on the site, I’m tired of coming every fucking day here to see “iOS pwns Nintendo lol” shit. Just stop already. Fuck.

  13. I would like to see an actually true survey that is taken by EVERYONE who plays games. Until then I’ll only see this as a representation of those who were surveyed and won’t try to place it on society as a whole. 4,200 is a pitifully small number.

  14. This isn’t hard, guys: what’s always ignored in these stats is *population growth*, which is where the seeming discrepancy in 3DS sales and love of Apple products lies.

    (I’d also take NPD’s stats with a big, huge, grain of salt, as the fact that they’re positing 2-year-olds are playing games on iPhones should set off alarm bells…)

  15. This is just sick. :( Maybe, parents should teach kids that Nintendo handhelds hold real games instead of Apple phones having “real” games. Haha. xD

    1. If you think this is sick, you should read about Obama supplying the enemy with weapons, yet claiming to care about mass amounts of genocide on innocent children.

      1. Ouch, yeah that is sick too. :( Not only that, I think Obama supports the new SOPA too I heard.

        Note: My icon might be different, must of put the wrong email address in.

  16. the reason is because the newer gen is growing up with smartphones and tablets in the house and plus their parents probably don’t know what nintendo is.

  17. Everyone wants to talk about the 3ds sales. The thing is once you buy one, you keep it, not hand it down. Not usually anyways, & you don’t have to upgrade every year. Some kids are getting free phones instead of nintendo handhelds. You know its sad but true. Sad but true! :(

  18. I don’t know why they compare tablets/mobile devices with gaming systems just like the 3DS. Those tablets/mobile devices aren’t focused on games, do you all forget you can do almost anything on those things? you can EASILY listen to music, watch videos, browse on the internet, record video, take pictures, chat, video calls, text, etc. Something just like the 3DS is focused on nothing but VIDEO GAMES. I think the only thing that nintendo needs is just add more features just like social networking, that’s what people look for the most. At least they could add a facebook app? I know it works on the web browser but no one takes the tame to go search it and sing in every time they want to use it.

    1. I think you hit the nail on the head: expand the capability.
      Add a facebook app, allow streaming content, add a youtube app, and let people load and play video! Geez! And geez louise, get rid of the region lock!

  19. Given the latest sales numbers, “ditching” isn’t the right way to look at it. It is interesting to see handhelds compete with tablets and phones however that [tablets and phones] gaming market is only just now starting to develop and is certainly not in any position to claim it has ruined Nintendo.

    For younger demographics, parental preference, influence and purchasing power is what ultimately drives the sales of either one of these products. Price, durability and replayability are very important in deciding what device to provide your child. The last two times I was shopping I overheard parents buying a 3DS and Wii U and comparing prices with other products.

    What I don’t believe about this article is that handed down products can’t be recounted against another product’s sales because it was already purchased. Of course having a used product to just hand over to a child for a few minutes will temporarily deter sales of a competitor; it costs nothing to the consumer in the short term.

    The article is also based on a survey which includes children as young as 2. I wasn’t aware 2 year olds were intelligent enough to fill out online surveys based on modern technology. I suppose that this point would be moot if the survey were about favorite colors and pets.

    This may be incorrect, but I recall reading an article in the newspaper recently stating that Apple’s tablet, Ipod and even phone sales were on the decline with the two former being in the worst shape. Apple’s plummeting stock aside, the first news doesn’t support the claim that the 3DS is really losing out, especially when everyone and their dog owns a phone of some type.

    In my experience when browsing for games and tech, I’m constantly surrounded by mothers with children in tow and older folks in the same Nintendo eisles. In fact, I have yet to ever see that particular eisle empty in any store I’ve been in; Walmart, Target, Fry’s, Gamestop, EB Games and Best Buy to name a few that I frequent in my area. Honestly that doesn’t quite sound like the article to me and I’m in one of those stores once a week.

    As a gamer, I find it difficult to follow this continuous doom’n’gloom because I know for certain what types of games and companies I’ll be buying for my children based solely on experience and preferences. I don’t purchase anything from Apple, I dislike tablets and am not really into owning a smartphone. XBOX and anything remotely close is off the table which leaves me with Nintendo, PC and Sony games and hardware.

  20. so… this means finally Nintendo is not going to be seen like a company that only makes ”games for kids”? (I’m not a hater)

  21. The problem is thats what the parents are buying them. Which teaches kids, at the same time those parents are opening those kids to many outside threats due to it.

  22. are you fucking kidding me did he say age 2 to 17 “age 2” wtf who the hell is giving there 2yo a iphone or ipad let alone answering a survey. a 2ds is perfect for kids its cheap its durable and it has quality games unlike apple who’s screen shatters when its dropped 2 feet on to a carpeted floor. no kid should ever get a iphone or ipad its a money pit in 6 months it will be out dated unlike consoles, handheld or home have a longer life span

  23. 3DS could be Nintendo’s last handheld. Once it is time for a 9th generation of video games, Nintendo will likely just stick to consoles for hardware and release their mobile games on smartphones and tablets.

    1. You do realize that the 3DS is doing well right? They’ve sold over 33 million units already, and with Pokemon coming out, and the addition of the 2DS, sales are going to skyrocket. Nintendo would be incredibly stupid to not keep making handhelds. Especially because phone games are not a good replacement for handheld gaming. You could never play a game like Zelda on a phone.

  24. I hate seeing articles like this, it’s just not true. Nobody is “ditching” a DS for a phone, nobody. There are more people that play phone games because everyone has a phone, and phone games are generally free to low cost. Also, phone games are played when you’re waiting on someone, or have like 10min to kill. They generally aren’t used as extended gaming devices. Those that do use them as gaming devices, will have a handheld as well. People who want a handheld gaming device are buying them.

  25. There is probably TONS of “bias” in the statistics as well that I can hardly take this evidence with anything more than a grain of salt. They only surveyed 4,200 kids and are making predictions on the whole population of children? Give me a break. These statistics are meaningless. 💋

  26. Okay, so Nintendo is for kids and babies but actually kids and babies are the ones who are ditching Nintendo games….

  27. yeah i think this is the reasond they made the 2ds because of kids and the people who don’t want to use 3D. so sells will go up for them.

  28. It sickens me to know what garbage that kids (and people in general) are playing these days. Apple? There’s simply no comparing Apple products to true, dedicated handheld gaming systems like the 3DS. I can’t even get myself remotely interested in Apple crap.

  29. I don’t agree with the conclusion that kids are ditching Nintendo products for Apple products. It’s a separate (although overlapping) market: there will always be more serious gamers who like handhelds/consoles (or PC’s), and also those who wouldn’t normally take up these modalities but who play tablet/smartphone games because of their ease of availability. Kids are also having sex earlier and eating fewer vegetables, but that doesn’t mean they are ditching corn for genitals. There are confounders.

  30. What do kids know? Who buys the system? Who a father who has 2 kids buy two Ipads for each kid or prefer to buy a “ds” handheld console for each at around $400upwards(ipads) or $130-190 for “ds”

    These analyst are saying rubbish….There are too many factors to consider. The affinity of a child tends to move towards what he/she is most exposed to..

    1. Not all smartphones are $400+, & you have to factor in that today’s kids carry phones to school anyway in case of emergencies, etc. Smartphone offer more than just games. Though the games are not exactly the same experience, they’re much cheaper to buy.

    2. Which’s also why I agreed w/ Nolan Bushnell on it not making sense to sell a game-only portable device in today’s era.

      1. I kind of agree, at the very least, Nintendo could extend the capabilities of the 3ds, I think region locking was a big mistake, as well as limiting the we capabilities of the device. If one could watch movies, youtube, and stream audio this would extend the appeal of the 3ds to a lot of people.

  31. Obviously Nintendo does sees them as a threat. The last article talked abt how they wanted to capture smartphone users w/a measly 2DS, LOL. And another articles stating that Miiverse app’s to arrive on Smartphones, too.
    Sellouts…

  32. I think the Nintendo needs to wake up! I love my 3DS, it’s probably the best portable gaming system ever made. BUT, when I travel and go to public spaces, I hardly ever see kids with a 3ds, I always see kids with iphones or android phones. The 3DS is doing well, but nowhere near what the original DS did.
    I really wish Nintendo would male a mobile gaming telephone, and/or some kind of portable gaming tablet. Additionally, region locking, and limiting the web functionality was a big mistake.
    Why can I not watch a movie with my 3DS? Why can’t I use youtube or stream audio?

  33. Haha, no. I’d rather stick with my 3DS for QUALITY games. I have an iPhone (it’s my sisters old one, which is now mine) and I tried finding a good game on there…NEVER AGAIN.

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