Report: Apple Gaining Fast On Nintendo

Ah, this might be what Apple was talking about when it claimed it was the "number one portable game player".

While the comment made recently by Steve Jobs raised eyebrows - mostly because he never backed it up with figures - research from NewZoo shows that while Apple's iDevices (iPod Touch, iPhone, iPad) are the second-biggest games devices in the US, they're rapidly gaining on Nintendo in first place.

NewZoo reckon that 40.1 million Americans use their iDevice to play games on, compared to Nintendo's DS install base of 41 million. Now, this is a research firm extrapolating figures based on sample groups, not the US Census Bureau, so those numbers won't be water-tight. They are, however, indicative of a trend that will inevitably see Apple's devices overtake Nintendo's as what you'd probably call the "most-used portable gaming system".

That's not in terms of individual use. I'd never play an iPhone game for 200 hours like I did Advance Wars DS. But it is in terms of the number of devices out there that people are playing games on, and casual/rubbish games many of them any be, it's still impressive that Apple has become a challenger to Nintendo (who despite claims to the contrary are in direct competition with Apple for mainstream consumers' spare time) without ever actually releasing a dedicated gaming platform.

Apple Poised to Overtake Nintendo as U.S. Portable Gaming Market Leader [FingerGaming]


    but what you need to take into account is that things like jewel quest are "games"

      I was just about the ask that.

      The numbers only proved the number of units purchased. The numbers do not indicate if the devices are used as gaming handheld devices.

      In answer to your comment though (and I am gonna be run over the coals for this), Jewel Quest is technically a game. Casual yes, but still a game.

        Agreed, it is a game and just as valid as another type of game. Some people find it very difficult to accept that the definition of 'game' doesn't involve the words "space" and "marines".

    Well seeing as though the iphone is one of the most popular mobile phones at the moment and more people would use a mobile compared to a portable game system this isn't so surprising. Also there are plenty of people who would play on their phone (or ipod) casually on free and lite titles, which are tantalizing for some people in comparison to more expensive games on other systems.

    And also, how many of those people actually paid for one of their games on their i-device.

    Also the primary function of the "i" devices is a phone or music player, not a gaming machine.

    I wouldnt buy any "i" device just for games, as they are rubbish for it.

    Playing to pass 5 minutes, 2 dollar flash games and far greater piracy levels than the DS. Not much to feel bad about.

    I gotta say my DS and PSP are getting rusty while I play SFIV on my iPhone.

    As a gamer I know aplle could never compete with Nintendo when it comes to handheld games.
    However in recent years, Nintendo are trying to market to non-gamers, as are Apple, and both devices are portable gaming platforms, however you look at it.
    And if a child has an iPod touch with some $1 games on it, why would their parents want to buy them a DS when games can be $60 each?

    In our eyes, "i"whatevers don't compare to Nintendo games, but that doesn't mean Nintendo shouldn't see this as a threat to their markets.

      Who would get a child an iPod over a hand-held gaming device that's half of the price or less? Compare the prices and what they'll be used for. Children don't have huge collections of stolen music or vaguely a taste in music: they play Nintendo games as figures indicate.

      Who needs facts when the general public fall over themselves to buy Apple products made out of magic?

    Even if these numbers are good, I don't think you can really give a nod to apple achieving anything gaming wise. Their stuff are not dedicated gaming devices, they're phones and music players. I highly doubt that anyone would buy an "i" device purely for their ability to play games. These numbers are basically people who have bought an "i" device because they needed a phone or a music device (or a oversized paper weight in the case of the pad) and there are a lot more of those people in the world than those who buy something to play games on.

    That's BS it would be like Microsoft claiming it's the biggest all up gaming platform becasue 95% of all PC's have solitaire installed.


      Also, that is MS Solitaire. So they are also the biggest distributor/publisher :P

    it also totally depends on the question asked. If you ask "have you ever played a game on your mobile phone?" the majority of people would say yes. If you said "is your phone used regularly/consistently as a games device?" the answer would be more likely no. I find this very dubious just based on the comparison of software revenue...but that being said the iPhone is becoming a much more popular gaming platform, no doubt about it. I would say it easily trumps the psp.

    The thing about the inevitable comments on this type of article is that they are all coming from the type of people, myself included obviously, that would both read Kotaku daily and bother to comment on a Kotaku article - which usually means the opinions on 'what people use devices for' and 'what reasons people would buy a device for' is rather skewed towards a hardcore gamer demographic. You get comments like "I wouldnt buy any “i” device just for games, as they are rubbish for it". That's great mate, but many millions of people disagree with you and have decided to do just that, so it is more constructive to analyse why that is the case and what lessons can be learnt from it. The games industry and the gaming community as a whole needs to drop its weird defensive stance on these sorts of 'games vs casual games' issues and grow up a bit. Another big player in the gaming platform space can only be a force for good.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now