Report: Tablet gaming boom threatens console sales

Worldwide revenue from tablet gaming is set for massive growth, tripling current figures by 2019, according to a new report.

"Mobile & Handheld Games: Discover, Monetise, Advertise 2014-2019," predicts that revenue will reach $13.3 billion (£8 billion) within five years compared with $3.6 billion currently.

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The study highlights several key factors in the growth, including improved storage capabilities, enhanced graphics and consumers' preference for convenience and ubiquity.

The study also emphasised the importance of smaller, independent games developers achieving consumer awareness in an increasingly cluttered marketplace. With app stores now containing in excess of one million apps, crowdfunding, in particular, is likely to play a crucial role.

Emerging markets are also expected to provide a boost to the smartphone gaming market, with carrier billing deployments increasingly facilitating storefront payments in countries with lower banked penetration rates.

A sister report, also carried out by Juniper Research, suggests that major changes are ahead for the more traditional gaming market. According to "PC & Console Games: Trends, Opportunities and Vendor Strategies 2014-2019," a shift towards digital-only software distribution is likely, alongside free-to-play business models, in an attempt to counter declining sales.

Long-standing video game institutions, such as Nintendo and Sony already face competition from newly emerging hardware manufacturers, such as NVIDIA's Shield and Valve's Steam Machine.

The report comes as Nintendo's finances continue to struggle after the disappointing sales of its Wii U console, and amidst many claims that the video game market needs to adapt in order to remain competitive against smartphones and tablets.

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The full report, "Mobile & Tablet Games – Making Players Payers," is available to download from the Juniper website.