Apple’s iOS Passes Sony’s PSP for Gaming in the US

The age of iOS gaming seems to have arrived. Newzoo—a market research firm—has completed its International Gamers Survey 2010 and the results are simply astounding. iOS gamers on their iPhones, iPod touches and iPads account for a hefty 40.1 million of the estimated 77 million Americans who do mobile gaming. Sony’s PSP accounts for a mere 18 million mobile gamers. Nintendo’s DS family of portable gaming devices account for 41 million gamers (some overlap exists naturally of course). With Apple’s iOS clocking in at less than 1 million less gamers than the Nintendo DS, it has nearly caught up. Shocked by the news? It looks like Apple CEO Steve Jobs was not just blowing smoke recently when he made a point that iOS is poised to become a major player in the gaming market.

In European markets, the Nintendo DS family holds a much more comfortable lead over iOS. However, the PSP is behind iOS in the UK, Germany, France, the Netherlands and Belgium. Americans really seem to love their iOS devices more than the rest of the world does. I am actually a little disappointed that the PSP has fallen this far (maybe that is why Sony is going after the iPhone in commercials now). Then again, I already own two Nintendo DS models in addition to my iOS devices. Of course, the survey supports my own gaming preferences as something much more than just a techno geek phenomenon. 34% (nearly 14 million) gamers use both the Nintendo DS and iOS to game. There is just something about Nintendo and its GameBoy legacy that draws users to its portable gaming offerings.

The survey also found that PSP and DS players average spending more money a month on games than iOS owners. That probably has to do with the number of free games available on the iTunes App Store, and the fact that PSP and DS games cost more than the vast majority of iOS games.

Oh, and BlackBerry users account for 12.8 million mobile gamers. That number itself is nothing to laugh about even though its considerably less than what iOS and the DS are pulling down. Hear that BlackBerry App World? Get your stuff together and lets see more than just 10,000 apps from you. The market exists so why are there so few offerings?

Let me know what you think of the survey. Will iOS become the dominate mobile gaming platform in the next five years? Drop a comment.

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