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Tablets now more popular with kids for gaming than Nintendo 3DS

When it comes to portable gaming, the iPad and whole ensuing tablet explosion saw the start of a shift away from traditional gaming handhelds, and a new piece of research has underlined this with the news that tablets have now outdone the Nintendo 3DS.

The study from Futuresource Consulting posed over a hundred questions to children aged three to twelve across the UK (and also the US, Germany and China). It found that in this country, tablets are now the most popular personal device owned by kids – with 44 per cent having a slate, meaning that they've overtaken the 3DS as top gaming dog.

Even the lowest age group, three to four, showed a result of 30 per cent tablet ownership (most likely of the kids variety, we'd imagine, with offerings like the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Kids (opens in new tab) around).

Parents also said that tablets were the most likely future purchase for their children (within the next six months), as well, meaning this trend is set to continue. Indeed, a tablet is more than twice as likely to be bought for kids than a smartphone or games console.

Speaking of smartphones, they are of course still getting more popular with youngsters aged nine and up, with one in four nine to ten-year-olds owning one. At eleven, that rises to 46 per cent. And 17 per cent of parents spend £100 or more on mobile tariffs for their offspring, the study found.

Futuresource Consulting did also note that tech isn't everything for kids, and more traditional activities still have quite a hold. 45 per cent read books every day (across all four countries where the survey was undertaken), and 39 per cent spend five or more hours doing jigsaws and playing board games.

Incidentally, we have a roundup of the best tablets for your kids here (opens in new tab).

Darren Allan

Darran has over 25 years of experience in digital and magazine publishing as a writer and editor. He's also an author, having co-written a novel published by Little, Brown (Hachette UK). He currently writes news, features and buying guides for TechRadar, and occasionally other Future websites such as T3 or Creative Bloq and he's a copy editor for TechRadar Pro. Darrran has written for a large number of tech and gaming websites/magazines in the past, including Web User and ComputerActive. He has also worked at IDG Media, having been the Editor of PC Games Solutions and the Deputy Editor of PC Home.