High tablet sales blamed for poor handheld gaming device sales


Parents are now twice as likely to buy tablets instead of gaming handsets, for their children.

The success of tablet sales could be responsible for poor handheld gaming sales, judging by a UK study.

Tablets are now the preferred portable gaming device for children, outperforming the Nintendo 3DS and the PlayStation Vita. The Futuresource Consulting study reveals 44% of British kids aged between three and twelve own a tablet.

Out of the mix, a whopping 30% of the young tablet owners are aged between three and four. There is also a much higher likelihood of parents purchasing a tablet over a portable gaming console for their children. The preference of buying a Nexus, iPad or a Galaxy is twice as high compared to portable gaming devices.

Despite the amount of free apps on offer, the statistics show parents aren’t hesitant to spend money on apps either. 17% of parents surveyed spent more than £100 per year on apps.

The smartphone craze could also be contributing to poor handheld gaming device sales. 25% of all 9 to 10-year-olds own a smartphone. Almost half of 11 to 12-year-olds also own a handset. These figures are bad news for companies like Nintendo, who rely on sales of the handheld DS range for revenue. Disappointing Wii U sales combined with Sony's growing dominance has led to a drop in Nintendo's share prices

Poor Wii U sales and Sony's increasing popularity led to a fall of Nintendo's shares.

Perhaps, the popularity of tablets could see the end of the handheld gaming device generation. There was one statistic that proved to be shocking, book reading remains the most popular activity among youths at 45%. It appears even the latest trends in technology cannot dethrone this classic pastime.        

Source: MCV via T3 | Mother and Daughter playing with digital tablet via Shuttershock, Latest Myanmar

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I don't know that kids with cellphones means they have cellphone service. I typically set up my old cell phone for my kid to play some games on. It costs me nothing to buy, and I can update it and get new games for my kid for little to no money. Pay $200 for a 3rd xl ? Yes he has that too, and loves it. But he loves games on my old phone too. My son is a little technology spoiled though. My son actually has an android tablet and an ipad, a 3ds xl and my old lumia 920. He likes them all. He likes his 3DS the best for games but likes to keep in touch with his mom with his iPad using FaceTime.

Tablets seem to meet the majority of casual users needs. It's why laptop and pc sales are declining and now we have figures showing hand helds declining. They just do what most need without being a gaming inly device and without being prone to viruses (I know its the user but the threat isn't there on tablets and that's the point - also why RT is perfect for smaller win tablets as the article says 30% of low end tablet sales are for kids). They are perfect for casual reliable use of web browsing, simple apps and games.

A generation growing up with uninspired clone games with paywalls, ads, and a poor user experience. That's too bad for them.

Now for a browsing, picture taking, texting, and video watching device, it would be superior. I guess the real news is that kids prioritize social interaction above gaming, and parents can only afford one so they'll chose the tablet/phone.

That's not the worst thing I guess. At least they'll still have a good gaming experience on a console or laptop.

This is amongst kids. Your target gaming audience (late teen to mid 30's males) are still favoring a true handheld gaming device as opposed to tablets. Casual touch games are fine on a tablet but you just can't play games like Mario World, Zelda, etc on a tablet.

Well, if i can afford it will be getting a Vita in July, have finally decided against the Wii U as the fourth option. So Vita it is! I love my Android tablet, but gaming is not its strong suit, no matter what ludicrous presentations NVIDIA bring out. I do agree screen size is a factor. That tiny 5" on the Vita is a limiting factor, especially for elderly gamers such as myself.

Pluto is a Planet said,
Dang half of all 12 year olds have cell phones now? If I was a parent, I wouldn't get my child a cell phone that young...

What if it meant you could easily contact them?

warwagon said,
What if it meant you could easily contact them?

How did parents keep track of their children for the couple of millennia before the advent of cell phones?

In almost all cases, it can wait until the disciplined child return home. As for an undisciplined offspring, it makes no difference.

_dandy_ said,

How did parents keep track of their children for the couple of millennia before the advent of cell phones?

a lot of the them had no idea where they were at. They would just call their friends house but they didn't know , the parents for the last couple of millennia just worried until their child finally came home.

Edited by warwagon, Jun 29 2014, 11:30pm :

Your child is normally at school or you leave your child with someone you know? Why, do you expect 12 year old children to be going out and about on their own or something? I know my parents never let me do that.

Pluto is a Planet said,
Dang half of all 12 year olds have cell phones now? If I was a parent, I wouldn't get my child a cell phone that young...

Where I live, it's common to see 5 year olds with iPhones.

Pluto is a Planet said,
Your child is normally at school or you leave your child with someone you know? Why, do you expect 12 year old children to be going out and about on their own or something? I know my parents never let me do that.

Hmm I was out and about a lot at 12. I just had to be home at the certain time like 8pm. My trip to school took over an hour bus plus walking to get to the bus.
After school I sometimes went to parks, malls, friends house.

No problem at all. People are too scared for kids this day. Even at nine year I had to walk for 30 minutes across a large town centre by myself everyday.

Parents were never sure where exactly I was I it was totally fine.

I mean I did get them worries a few time when I got carried away playing and was 2 hours late, but it's ok too

_dandy_ said,

How did parents keep track of their children for the couple of millennia before the advent of cell phones?


And bow people traveled before airplanes became mainstream?
It is just one of the many aspect of evolution...

Pluto is a Planet said,
Dang half of all 12 year olds have cell phones now? If I was a parent, I wouldn't get my child a cell phone that young...

There are so many reasons a parent would give their kids cell phones today. (your parents would have too if they could afford them, or if they were available as they are today.) First off, safety and the ability for the kid to reach you in the event of a problem or emergency. Like, "Hey mom, I missed the bus." Other reasons would be schedule changes or typical child slip ups. i.e. "Dad, can you bring me my math book, I forget to put it in my backpack." or "Mom, practice is running late, I won't need to be picked up until 7 tonight instead of 6."

The list goes on. If you give your 12 year old a phone, configure it properly, and teach them some guidelines and responsibility, there is no reason why they couldn't carry a phone and use it productively.

uxo22 said,
"Hey mom, I missed the bus."
[...]
"Dad, can you bring me my math book, I forget to put it in my backpack."

Lovely examples.

My grandparents would've said the lesson here is "tough sh*t, learn to organize yourself and learn some responsibility for yourself". If you give a kid like this a phone, you're teaching him to keep counting on other people to fix problems of his own creation, removing the incentive to even give some thought to the consequences of his actions/inactions.

_dandy_ said,

Lovely examples.

My grandparents would've said the lesson here is "tough sh*t, learn to organize yourself and learn some responsibility for yourself". If you give a kid like this a phone, you're teaching him to keep counting on other people to fix problems of his own creation, removing the incentive to even give some thought to the consequences of his actions/inactions.

Yeah, every one loves tough love for them stupid kids that make common mistakes. /s

I hope you feel the same way when your kids someday makes a mistake. Better yet, let's start with you. The next time you are late for work, your boss should say tough sh*t you're fired. " learn to organize yourself and learn some responsibility for yourself" Especially being that you are older than a 12 year old and should be much more responsible. As a matter of fact anyone that makes a mistake should be treated like it's completely their fault and should be punished so that they can learn from it. It get it.

uxo22 said,
Better yet, let's start with you. The next time you are late for work, your boss should say tough sh*t you're fired. " learn to organize yourself and learn some responsibility for yourself"

I learned hard lessons from the dumb mistakes I made as a kid, and as an adult, I try very hard not to repeat them. As a result, I DON'T arrive late at work today and my boss has no reason to fire me if I do, which would NOT be the case if I had NOT learned those lessons and arriving late was a regular occurrence. You do understand that distinction, right? And you do know that people DO put their jobs in jeopardy if they're constantly being late...?

uxo22 said,
Especially being that you are older than a 12 year old and should be much more responsible. As a matter of fact anyone that makes a mistake should be treated like it's completely their fault and should be punished so that they can learn from it.

If you haven't learned from your simple mistakes by the time you're an adult, I wouldn't want to be either your boss or your coworker. Look, it's not about not making any mistake, ever, but what you do about your mistakes when you do make them. When mommy or daddy bringing Little Johnny's math book to school is just a phonecall away, there's hardly anything for Little Johnny to learn, and he's much more likely to do it again, which wouldn't be the case if he was made to sit through his lessons without his books.

Believe me, I see this all the time with the younger people--this sense of entitlement, nothing's ever their fault, there's nothing they can ever do about anything, they're victims etc, because that's how they've been raised and that's why they think the way they do.

If, as a kid, you come to understand nobody's ever going to clean up all of your messes for you, you'll be much more motivated to look after your own self. A kid won't try very hard to look after himself when he's handed a phone and is told to "call me if there's anything".

uxo22 said,
It get it.

There's a middle ground, and your response actually makes it sound like you don't... Unless you also needed to end that last paragraph with "/s"...?

_danny_, I get the point that you are trying to make. But, you are also grouping all kids into one group.

Let me ask you this, if you left your cellphone at home (example case) and your girlfriend or wife (again example) was still home. Would you now, try to reach them and have them bring it to you, if it weren't too much trouble.

And seriously, how would you feel it they told you, "Hell no" next time, check your pockets before you leave home.

I agree there are entitled kids out there. Believe it or not, there are also some mature responsible ones out there also. Sometimes sh*t happens and even the responsible one need your help, and when they do, they don't need you trying to always teach a lesson. Sometimes it's just a simple can bringing them their book.

Beside, the forgotten book was just one of my points to be made for why a parent would give their kids a cellphone.

I grew up with that teach him a lesson mentality. Most of the time, there was no lesson to be taught, I made a mistake and I know I made one. Didn't need anyone, trying to teach me a lesson when all I was asking for was a little assistance.

Let's just agree to disagree on this one.

uxo22 said,
Let's just agree to disagree on this one.

I don't think we're in total disagreement. You have to allow kids to make mistakes. If they forget their books, fine, they can call home and have them brought to them. Once? Twice? But they can't make a habit of it--I strongly feel that letting them have a phone just enables them to have others fix their repeated mistakes.

Maybe I should also have pointed out that I don't own a cell phone. I've never had one, and don't plan on ever changing that. I've made people around me understand that sometimes I'm simply away and unavailable, and most have come to the realization that in the end, what they *thought* they needed to tell me right away turned out to be totally unimportant.

It's not like I'm a technophobe either--I'm a software developer, I'm the go-to guy in my family for any type of gadget, and I have no problem spending money on my own gadgets--but sometimes, for sanity's sake, I want to be disconnected, and carrying a phone is the worse I could do. I just know way too many people who are simply slaves to their phones, and it's way too easy for kids to fall into that trap.

I'm a guy in his early 40s, living in a connected world but often longing for the simpler times that existed before his own.

I totally understand where you are coming from, I too sometimes feel that we all become slaves to our technology. Good debate, we'll see ya around.

_dandy_ said,

Maybe I should also have pointed out that I don't own a cell phone. I've never had one, and don't plan on ever changing that. I've made people around me understand that sometimes I'm simply away and unavailable, and most have come to the realization that in the end, what they *thought* they needed to tell me right away turned out to be totally unimportant.

It's not like I'm a technophobe either--I'm a software developer, I'm the go-to guy in my family for any type of gadget, and I have no problem spending money on my own gadgets--but sometimes, for sanity's sake, I want to be disconnected, and carrying a phone is the worse I could do. I just know way too many people who are simply slaves to their phones, and it's way too easy for kids to fall into that trap.

I'm a guy in his early 40s, living in a connected world but often longing for the simpler times that existed before his own.

Wow dandy, I envy you. Good post.

"There was one statistic that proved to be shocking, book reading remains the most popular activity among youths at 45%."

Nice!

Well the handheld gamers have argued that mobile and tablets don't affect handheld sales for ages now and never will cause touch games suck and people aren't willing to sacrifice controls.

so not so obvious to them.

HawkMan said,
Well the handheld gamers have argued that mobile and tablets don't affect handheld sales for ages now and never will cause touch games suck and people aren't willing to sacrifice controls.

so not so obvious to them.


That's only super hard core handheld fans.

Handheld gaming devices are a joke for many years now.

Crimson Rain said,

That's only super hard core handheld fans.

Handheld gaming devices are a joke for many years now.

I disagree. The Vita is a very capable machine, Sony just never supported it properly with software and their memory cards, besides being proprietary, were too expensive. The 3DS has decent momentum, but it follows the same Nintendo tradition of using old tech instead of trying to use newer tech.

I think the only company that said mobile wasn't effecting handheld gaming was Nintendo, since they essentially created that market. I think there will always be a place for a dedicated handheld game console, it's just harder now to compete for "attention" of the user when they will always have a phone on them near 100% of the time, but might not carry a handheld with them all the time.

The overall quality of the games on dedicated handhelds are still much higher than most mobile games, however it's hard to compete with free or $2 dollar games when you are trying to sell a handheld game for $40. It's hard to justify that kind of price in today's world.

Although phones and tablets will always update quicker than dedicated handhelds, I think looking at the graphics and gameplay of some of the most popular mobile games, shows that as far as mobile is concerned, graphics aren't everything and it's more so about the experience, which should mean that a "dinosaur" system like the 3DS could compete well with the latest and greatest cell phones.

I think early on in both systems life, Sony and Nintendo made major missteps that they are paying for now, Sony more than Nintendo, but I think it's still too early to proclaim the end of the dedicated handheld, diminished likely, but gone and not viable, I doubt it.

Crimson Rain said,

That's only super hard core handheld fans.

Handheld gaming devices are a joke for many years now.

Sometimes I think the employees in these companies are just clueless, this is what happens when a company promotes too many stupid managers.

The first thing a company like Nintendo should have done is to provide a kids gaming and learning tablet, and better parental control

macrosslover said,

The overall quality of the games on dedicated handhelds are still much higher than most mobile games, however it's hard to compete with free or $2 dollar games when you are trying to sell a handheld game for $40. It's hard to justify that kind of price in today's world.

That is the problem in a nutshell.

macrosslover said,

I disagree. The Vita is a very capable machine, Sony just never supported it properly with software and their memory cards, besides being proprietary, were too expensive. The 3DS has decent momentum, but it follows the same Nintendo tradition of using old tech instead of trying to use newer tech.

I think the only company that said mobile wasn't effecting handheld gaming was Nintendo, since they essentially created that market. I think there will always be a place for a dedicated handheld game console, it's just harder now to compete for "attention" of the user when they will always have a phone on them near 100% of the time, but might not carry a handheld with them all the time.

The overall quality of the games on dedicated handhelds are still much higher than most mobile games, however it's hard to compete with free or $2 dollar games when you are trying to sell a handheld game for $40. It's hard to justify that kind of price in today's world.

Although phones and tablets will always update quicker than dedicated handhelds, I think looking at the graphics and gameplay of some of the most popular mobile games, shows that as far as mobile is concerned, graphics aren't everything and it's more so about the experience, which should mean that a "dinosaur" system like the 3DS could compete well with the latest and greatest cell phones.

I think early on in both systems life, Sony and Nintendo made major missteps that they are paying for now, Sony more than Nintendo, but I think it's still too early to proclaim the end of the dedicated handheld, diminished likely, but gone and not viable, I doubt it.


So you disagree and then go on and prove my point. Well played!

Crimson Rain said,

So you disagree and then go on and prove my point. Well played!

lol ok. Handheld gaming isn't a joke, it has problems like anything else, but to say it's a joke is a bit extreme.

macrosslover said,

lol ok. Handheld gaming isn't a joke, it has problems like anything else, but to say it's a joke is a bit extreme.

They weren't a joke but they are a joke now and will be even more so in future.

Phones/Tablets can do most of the things these can do and does a lot more other useful stuff. For other gaming, people have laptops/desktops/console. Handhelds make no sense now and that is why Nintendo's handhelds do not sell that much anymore; they are still floating somewhat because of Mario etc EXCLUSIVITY. Release those games on phones/tablets, almost no one will buy Nintendo handhelds anymore. Same reason none buys NV Shield or PS Vita (lol).

A dedicated handheld gaming device is more niche and useless than a DAP (mp3 player) now-a-days. In the age of convergence, it makes no sense. Simple.