Tablets and smartphones are turning handheld gaming devices into a niche

A new study from ABI Research found that Sony and Nintendo are struggling against the rise of smartphones and tablets in gaming. The two companies are expected to ship more than 38 million handheld gaming devices in 2013, a number significantly lower than the previous peak of 47 million units in 2008.

Shipments after 2013 are expected to continue to decline, and the firm says handheld gaming devices will only survive as a niche, while smartphone and tablet sales continue to increase. “Mobile devices will compete with dedicated handheld gaming devices, but select consumer segments like core gamers and those individuals who do not want or have a smartphone or tablet will still provide some demand,” senior ABI analyst Michael Inouye said.

“The addition of mobile gaming is not necessarily a zero sum situation; in fact, many feel there is plenty of room in the gaming market for both portable and mobile gaming.” Read on for ABI Research’s press release.