The Apple iPad is now the fastest growing gaming platform, according to games publishing and developing juggernauts EA. With mobile gaming featuring heavily in the company’s profits in their financial report, EA now suggest that the age of the home console (which made up 80% of the games business just a decade ago) is giving way to the rise of the tablet and mobile phone.
“Consoles today are 40 per cent of the game industry, so what do we really have?,” said EA boss John Riccitiello to Industry Gamers.
“We have a new hardware platform and we’re putting out software every 90 days. Our fastest growing platform is the iPad right now and that didn’t exist 18 months ago.
“Every 5 years you’d see a new console or platform from everybody at about the same time with about the same or similar upgrades or services. You’d sort of harvest it and then it’d cycle back. We got used to it. It’s what seemed normal. But it’s not a particularly smart way to run an industry… bulges in technology investment followed by harvest.
“I would argue that there’s more to be provided in terms of value for the consumer in micro-transactions and social experiences and driving those better in cross-platform gameplay between a console and a PC and a handheld device and a social network than there is supercharging graphics.”
A few things do have to be factored into the EA boss’s comments here though. Firstly, apart from the Nintendo 3DS (which has recieved at best a lukewarm reception commercially), there have been no major console releases for over half a decade. An exciting, popular new format like the iPad is sure to see growth as a result.
With Xbox 720 and PS4 announcements expected at E3 next year, along with the forthcoming release of the Wii U, it’ll be interesting to see EA’s stance on the iPad in a few months time. But there is no denying that as it stands, the iPad is flourishing.