Data & Research

Handhelds to become 'niche devices for core gamers' by 2016, reports IHS iSuppli

Smartphone assault to gather pace

Handhelds to become 'niche devices for core gamers' by 2016, reports IHS iSuppli
Shipments of handheld consoles will slip by 13.1 percent in the run up to 2016, with the devices becoming a "niche market for core gamers" as casual players migrate to smartphones and tablets.

That's according to the latest report published by IHS iSuppli – viewed by – which concludes that handhelds as dedicated gaming devices are in decline.

"Media tablets are a definite threat to the console and handheld gaming devices," the IHS report explains, but "the handheld gaming market is not going anywhere."


The report – titled 'Multi-Taskers Rule the Handheld CE Market' – goes on to state that "the ultimate hardware driver in the handheld gaming market continues to be the casual gamer phenomenon, as seen with the launch of the Nintendo DS platform."

The DS attracted casual gamers in droves, but this same audience is now well catered to by smartphones and tablets. Looking ahead, though, IHS nevertheless expects the 3DS to enjoy an easier time than the Vita.

"IHS iSuplli forsees that the 3DS will carry the most growth where Sony's future in the near term may benefit from price reductions for the PS Vita going forward.

"Unit shipments and revenues for dedicated handheld gaming platforms are expected to start decreasing in 2014 as the 3DS and PS Vita mature."

More information on the changing state of the handheld gaming market can be found in the full report, which is available from the IHS website.
Staff Writer's news editor 2012-2013