Two-thirds of handheld owners also have iOS device

By Steve Watts, Feb 07, 2012 1:45pm PST

In light of the 3DS' sluggish start and the upcoming launch of the PlayStation Vita, plenty of commotion has been made about dedicated handheld devices facing steep competition from cheap, bite-sized gaming on the iPhone. There's new statistical evidence to back up that rhetoric. Nielsen's latest gaming trends show that a full two-thirds of households with a 3DS, DS, or PSP also own an iOS device.

A series of tweets from Nielsen addresses the rough-and-tumble handheld market as it stands today. 39% of households own some form of iOS device, nothing to sneeze at next to the 56% that own a current (7th generation) gaming console. People are spending more time playing games, up 7% from last year, which Nielsen attributes to tablet and mobile games. "Increased gaming time suggests cross-platform play can be additive to, not just cannibalistic of, existing gameplay hours." This is backed up by the figure that shows more than half of gamers play on two or more "screens" (console, PC, mobile/tablet).

iPhone gaming is fairly even among different ages, while Android gaming is most common among adults age 25-34. It's not all sour news for Nintendo's handhelds, though. Nielsen claims that almost half of children age 6-12 own a handheld in the Nintendo DS family.

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