Is iOS The Biggest Gaming Platform, Topping Nintendo DS And PlayStation 2 Put Together?

Asymco, a Market Research website founded by Horace Dediu has released a press release titled Measuring iOS as a gaming platform. The truth is that the quick article doesn’t do a whole lot of analysis of iOS as a gaming platform. We have the number of Game Center accounts as 67 million individual accounts from October 2011 and 130 million accounts accounts announced on at most recent WWDC in June. This data is presented beside the total number of 180 million OpenFeint iOS accounts, and the total number of iOS devices shipped, which is over 400 million.

iOS To Be Biggest Gaming Platform Ever By End Of 2012 [Asymco]

Cumulative sales graphed by Asymco. Does it make sense to graph iOS devices in a cluster, but separate the individual game consoles?

In terms of sheer numbers, Apple’s game Center Accounts alone dwarf every console’s sales aside from the PlayStation 2 and Nintendo DS. By measure of OpenFeint accounts, those consoles are outpaced by about 30 million users. If we count total iOS devices shipped, the number more than double’s the Nintendo DS’ hardware sales.

The problem is these numbers don’t give us the size of the actual game buying market for iOS or its competitors. It may be a common occurrence for Apple’s customers to buy multiple iOS devices – for example: the people who bought launch iPhones who later upgraded, all the customers who bought iPhones along with an iPad, and households that only have one console but multiple personal iPods.

There’s also the problem of iPhones being multipurpose devices. If we allow iOS devices to be gaming devices, how about Microsoft’s Windows gaming platform? How different is to play Freecell in Windows than Game Center-linked freeware titles on iOS?

I could also mention OpenFeint’s tendency to create multiple accounts on one device. Any way you slice it, mining these numbers for the size of an active video game market is problematic. What do we even mean by a video game market?

iOS To Be Biggest Gaming Platform Ever By End Of 2012 [Asymco]

Growth of Game Center, according to Apple

Would you say that your iPhone or iPad is your primary gaming device? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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