Smart Phones Now Tackling Video Gaming Market

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By Tom Fehn

New smart phones can allow users to access to listen to music, get on the spot directions with a GPS and even have the ability to find the best restaurants that are within a block of where you are standing.

They also do a decent job of doing the “boring” things that a phone can do like make a phone call and text.For all these phones are able to do, they are also now taking over in the handheld video game department.

According to a new survey released by a market research firm Interpret, one-time fans of portable gaming systems like the Nintendo DS and the Playstation Portable are ditching them in favor of smart phones like Apple’s iPhone.

“Gamers appear to be deflecting from their handheld gaming devices to phones to get their gaming kicks,” says Interpret’s report, which polled 9,000 U.S. consumers. “A full 27.2 percent of consumers who indicate that they play games on their phones only (and not on the DS or PSP) actually owns a DS or PSP, but do not actively use the devices.”

“I use my iPhone for everything including gaming,” says Mercy alum James Lacey. “I used to always use my PSP for everything, but why would I want to carry more than one thing with me when I can just have everything I need one my phone. Also, it saves me money as the games for the PSP are more expensive than the ones I can download off my IPhone.”

The average PSP or DS game goes anywhere from $24.99 to $39.99, while downloading games off of the phone can go anywhere from $4.95 to $15.99. Gamers are finding there is more bang for their buck as they can get three times as many games for the same price.

The big boom in video games on the smart phones isn’t just from the fans but even some of the big names in gaming are also starting to follow the trend. John Carmack, legendary designer behind classics like Doom, has been an advocate of the iPhone as a gaming system for several years and has released several high-profile titles via Apple’s Application Store. Also, Epic Games is set to release an iPhone/iPad exclusive game this month titled Infinity Blade that could very well outshine anything that has been seen so far on hand held gaming.

Video gaming is no different than other fads as one week something can be the new hot button of gaming and right now gaming on the smart phones is the new exciting fad. “I’m sure that in three years or less that we will have something new but right now I’m just thankful that I own the iPhone so I can be a part of it,” says Mercy College sophomore Chris Goodwin.

“The explosion of the smart phones is a real threat to the old gaming handhelds, especially the DS and the PSP,” says Courtney Johnson, Interpret’s Manager of Research and Analysis, said in a statement. “Devices which satisfy a variety of entertainment and utility are fast outgrowing single-function devices as consumer favorites.”