The times, they are a changing! What the heck happened? Wasn’t it just yesterday that I was busting out Super Mario 6 Golden coins on the Gameboy? Now it seems like every house wife is busy playing some addictive game on their brand new shiny mobile phone.

Is handheld console gaming dead? Or has the mobile phone game industry simply introduced a larger audience to the wonders of video games? I don’t think console gaming will die any time soon. Even the Nintendo’s 3DS has sold nearly 9 million units (as of June 2013) which indicates to me that there is at least still some old hand held console dedicated gamers out there.

Is the trend changing though? If we go back a generation of DS it looks like maybe things are on the down turn for hand held consoles. The DS was actually the top selling hand held platform of all time. In March 2010 alone Nintendo reported selling 27.11 million units (already topping the 3Ds, but the year isn’t over yet!), in the same year they announced they had sold a total of 128.9 million units. To be fair these numbers did also include the DSi and DSi XL versions of the DS but it is still an incredible figure.

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No one can deny the jump in Mobile phone games since those golden DS days though. Already in 2011 popcap games announced that it’s most played platform for it’s games was actually on the mobile phone rather than the conventional console or hand held device. Is this indicative of the type of game though? Perhaps games like plants vs Zombies and Bejewelled are just more suited to a mobile device?

With mobile phones becoming more and more powerful over time their graphics capabilities are increasing too, allowing for more detailed and complex games on mobile devices. Up until recent years this was something the hand held consoles had on top of the mobile world, even if I did have a lot of fun playing snake on my Nokia 3310 back in the day.

Mobile phones have another advantage over gaming consoles. Nearly everyone has one these days. That means you already have the gaming platform at the ready, even if your original purpose of purchasing the phone was just to make calls! Before you know it you are playing Angry birds on the train and killing zombies with plants between classes. Don’t worry, you aren’t the only one that might leave your DS a bit dusty now though. In fact, a study in May showed that nearly 40% of the American population played games on their mobile phone. Maybe the new handheld consoles are actually going to be mobile phones? I still love my Gameboy though…

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