The console game industry is being challenged by a growing platform for gaming: Smartphones.
These phones are widely available and used by 42.7 million Americans, according to a 2010 study by comScore.
Smartphone users are creating an entirely new audience as the demand and popularity for these games grow.
“It takes away a lot of my boredom and I can just get out my phone and play,” HTC Aria user Amanda Segura said.
Due to the rising demand for game efficiency on smartphones, Sony has dedicated a new phone entirely to gaming.
The phone is the Sony Xperia Play. According to the Sony Ericsson website, it slides up to reveal the same gaming controls as the PSP and was released March 2011.
In addition to this type of phone, developers are equipping other smartphones to have more effective gaming programs that appeal to xbox users.
“Many of the Windows 7 phones are capable of connecting to their Xbox at home,” AT&T sales associate Brian Luna said. “There are mobile versions of the games that you can only play with these phones.”
Despite these new developments there is one feature that smartphone users value the most.
“I like the quickness,” iPhone 4 user Briana Murray said. “It’s only one thing and you don’t have to set it up to play.”
The ease of access of the games pose the biggest threat to the console game industry Mobiledia reported. However, there are still some people prefer to stick with the console games for detailed reasons.
“Smartphone games are very addicting, but you don’t get as involved,” PS3 owner Tricia Workman said. “They are basic games that don’t have the full story mode experience.”
The work that goes into a console game also has a stern advantage over smartphone games and provides a unique experience claims Xbox 360 owner Gilbert Lopez.
“The average game on a console can take up to two years to develop,” Lopez said. “There are in-depth storylines, graphic designers, and a lot more that make it a long process.”
The price reflects the immense detail and work that is put into the console games. The average price for a console game is $60 while a large variety smartphone games can be downloaded for free.
“I don’t spend money on the games I get,” Segura said. “I get their free ones, like a Pokemon one I downloaded. They are still pretty good quality, but not the best.”
Nintendo President Satoru Iwata has said the inexpensiveness of the games could cause a threat to the console gaming industry, according to Mobiledia. But for others like Murray, it’s a new opportunity.
“I think [smartphones] help the gaming industry. Its just like another console, you just have different ways to play different types of games,” Murray said.