AppAnnie which researches the mobile app market, has unveiled that now Google Play is #2 (after iOS), and it has just surpassed Sony and Nintendo in terms of revenue from game purchases, combined.
It seems iOS is still 2x bigger in this regard, but at the same time Android’s app ecosystem is also growing much faster, and I don’t think it will be too long until Android starts being #1 in just about everything, including total app revenue and revenue per app. Right now it can take any “small” wins it can get, but beating both Sony and Nintendo in game sales, points to a bigger and very dangerous trend for the two companies, when it comes to selling handheld consoles.
What Sony and Nintendo don’t understand is that they are getting “disrupted” in this market by mobile gaming. Just like any classic disruption, the disruptive technology is weaker or poorer in some way (at first) than the incumbent one (3D graphics, game depth, etc), but it’s good for other things (much better portability, everyone can get access to those games, etc), and eventually the first problem disappears, too, as the quality of that new technology increases until it becomes “good enough” for most people. At that point the incumbent technology is as good as dead (even if it won’t disappear completely from the market).
This is exactly what’s going to happen to Nintendo and Sony handhelds, too. Next year we should be seeing games like Battlefield 3 on mobile devices, and new technologies, protocols and products such as Android-based consoles, are going to make it very easy to play the same games on TV, too, and experience the games even better than you would on a handheld console.
If Google has finally realized this, too, and they’ve hinted lately that they have, then this trend is only going to accelerate the harder they push it, especially if they intend to launch their own Android-based console this year, as rumored. Of course, there’s also Amazon who intends to do the same, so even though Android game purchases have just surpassed the handheld consoles, Android gaming is only in its very early stages, and it’s about to become a lot better.