It would appear that according to an Interpret report that gamers are increasingly giving play time to their phones while their portable gaming units gather dust. The report titled, “The Phone Gaming Revolution: Do the DS and PSP Stand a Chance?,” shows us what might be obvious to many: gamers have phones and have realized games are on them. Few things beat accessibility.
Interpret’s New Media Measure™ data shows 43.8% of the phone/DS/PSP gaming market plays games on phones—a significant 53.2% increase over the past year—while the proportion of those who play on the DS or PSP has fallen by 13%. Gamers appear to be defecting from their handheld gaming devices to phones to get their gaming kicks: a full 27.2% of consumers who indicate that they play games on their phones only (and not on the DS/PSP) actually own a DS or PSP, but do not actively use the device(s).
Smartphone gaming has improved to a point where the entertainment value rivals a dedicated portable gaming system, at least in my book. For the low entry costs ($.99-$4.99 in most cases) combined with high users satisfaction for short-period gaming, smartphone gaming is a win for many consumers. Is it serious gaming? No. And that kind of the point.