iPhone races past PSP in mobile gaming revenue

Sony’s PSP continues to take a beating, according to a report released by application analyst Flurry, which says that the iPhone OS has trumped Sony’s effort in US portable game software revenue in 2009.

When Apple launched the iPhone App Store in July 2008, it made a dent in the portable gaming market, but only just. The market leader then was the Nintendo DS, holding 75% of the overall share, with the PSP taking a 20% slice of the pie. Overally in 2008 the iPhone OS stood at 5%. However, by the end of 2009, Apple’s iPhone and iPod Touch products seem to have done what the Ngage could only wet dream about, overtaking the PSP by 8%.

Flurry reports that the DS is still the clear leader with a 70% share but the iPhone has jumped up the tables to take 19%. The PSP, despite the launch of the PSP Go, has sunk to 11% of total US portable game revenue market share.

It’s definitely important to factor in the ease with which iPhone OS users can download games to their devices. Flurry reports that people are downloading games from the App store “in droves”. Indeed, the casual gamer may be inheriting the Earth at last, to the horror of hardcore geeks, as Flurry reports that iPhone games now account for 5% of total US game software by revenue. Consoles of course take the lead with a 71% share.

Taking into account the ease of pirating a PSP and installing custom firmware to play ripped games on via a memory card, perhaps it’s no surprise that the device is struggling despite all of Sony’s efforts to safeguard it. As this post on Oxcgn says, the PSP has not had a single game in the top 100 highest selling titles across all formats for several years.

Flurry suggests that Apple may well continue to grow in the portable game market, especially with the upcoming release of the iPad and gaming giants like Electronic Arts announcing their support for the tablet device.

However, mobile news blog Omio.com’s Ernest Doku reckons Nintendo clearly knows what the score is, keeping ahead of the crowd with the shock announcement of its 3D console, the 3DS, as reported here on TechEye.