Smartphones continue to disrupt handheld gaming

Apple's iOS and Google's Android operating systems are increasingly eroding Nintendo's dominance of the handheld gaming market.

As recently as 2009, Nintendo trousered a staggering 70 per cent of every dollar spent on portable gaming consoles and software, mainly due to its granny-friendly DS console and its spurious claims of being able to make you brain work better by solving simple puzzles.

Analysis outfit Flurry has been watching the smartphone gaming market since the launch of the original iPhone, and now reckons that Android gaming has boosted the sector from 19 per cent held by Apple alone in 2009 to 34 per cent between the leading mobile operating systems in 2010.

Surprisingly, handheld gaming revenue in general (portable consoles and smartphones combined) dropped from 29 to 24 per cent of the entire market, almost certainly due to the boost given to PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 sales by the introduction of the Move and Kinect motion-sensing controllers.

The figures do not include the recently-released Nintendo 3DS and it remains to be seen whether the glasses-free 3D handheld can reverse Nintendo's market-share slide.