International Data Corporation (IDC) published the Worldwide Gaming-Optimized Handheld, Smartphone, and Tablet Gaming 2013–2017 Forecast, on the current state and future direction of smartphone, tablet, and gaming-optimized handheld (GOH) hardware and software. The forecast details the outlook for Apple, Google/Android, Microsoft, Nintendo, Sony, and a wide range of game developers and publishers from a mobile and portable gaming perspective through 2017. Some key point they make are:

  • IDC research shows that the number of paying smartphone and tablet gamers will surpass the number of paying GOH gamers worldwide in 2013
  • This number will continue to rise at a rapid rate through 2017
  • The number of GOH bundles shipped should fall at an average of nearly 7% per year over the next five years
  • The installed base of GOH’s is being overwhelmed by smartphones and tablets that are used for casual gaming primarily
  •  Total mobile/portable gaming revenue, including digital and packaged game software, GOH hardware bundles, and direct advertising revenue going to platform suppliers and game developers/publishers, is forecast to approach $23 billion in 2017.

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