Cheap and casual Mobile gaming, especially on smartphones and tablets, continues to surge in popularity as the cost of apps and software development remains low. And with the availability of smartphones, it's no surprise that proprietary handhelds such as Nintendo's 3DS or Sony's PlayStation Portable are losing their once-coveted markets. Wireless Emporium recently reported on the growth of mobile gaming due to the developers affinity for the low investment and high returns, as well as an overall push by companies such as GameStop to bolster revenue from mobile gaming sales. The average cost of an iOS or Android game is no more than a dollar or two on average compared to the half Benjamin cost of the latest Mario or Metal Gear title. Despite less-than-expected sales and a forty percent markdown on all 3DS devices, Nintendo's CEO Satoru Iwata stands firm on the company's decision to steer clear from entering the mobile gaming niche. "If we did this, Nintendo would cease to be Nintendo. . . It's probably the correct decision in the sense that the moment we started to release games on smartphones we'd make profits. However, I believe my responsibility is not to short term profits, but to Nintendo's mid and long term competitive strength." Nintendo's history of hardware releases have spawned not only home consoles and portable gaming devices, but peripherals and features that add new dimensions to the gaming experience. The 3DS was the world's first portable gaming device touting a 3D display without having to use glasses. However, lackluster sales have left investors unimpressed, leaving Nintendo's firm stance against developing outside of their flagship devices to speculation as mobile gaming on smartphones and the like continue to grow. Hiroshi Kawano, president of Sony Computer Entertainment Japan, stated in a translated interview with Reuters Japan that Sony does not consider the 3DS or smartphones as direct competition with their portable devices. The PlayStation Vita, Sony's up-and-coming portable gaming device, will introduce a higher-end experience with hardware and software outperforming much of the current mobile gaming market. "With smartphones, gaming is like a bonus on top of the main usage as a smartphone." Proprietary gaming handhelds have batteries that outlast the longevity of most cell phone batteries, as our daily companions dedicate their processing to more than gaming. Other than buying a cheap, unlocked cell phone, smartphones or tablets without contract benefits can cost hundreds of dollars more than the sub-$300 price tag of a Nintendo or Sony device. As gaming-first handhelds from Nintendo and Sony hold ground against a growing smartphone and tablet-based mobile gaming niche, we may see increased competition from developers as they race to create a perfect mobile gaming experience.

Posted by David Yi, Social Media and SEO Assistant at Wireless Emporium