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Smartphone Game Revenue Blows Away Nintendo, Sony

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Both versatile and ubiquitous, smartphones have put a damper on more than a few industries. We no longer have the need to carry around point-and-shoot cameras. Flip camcorders have accepted their fate, as have Microsoft's Zune Players. And GPS devices seems wholly unnecessary when a smartphone can offer up turn-by-turn directions for free.

But one group that has really felt the pinch is the gaming industry. With more and more people looking for a cheap, casual game rather than a $39.99 title, Apple and Google have been nipping at the heels of the titans of handheld gaming -- Nintendo and Sony.

Like iPods and GPS devices, the Nintendo 3DS and Sony's PSP are now regarded as obsolete in a smartphone world. Aside from the far more affordable price point -- as well as a dynamic improvement in graphics quality -- downloading a game on a single device is much easier than traveling to Best Buy or Target to purchase physical media for a second device to lug around.

And that preference for ease has culminated into a mammoth industry, one that has finally toppled the likes of Nintendo and Sony. According to mobile analytics firm Flurry, revenue from Android and iPhone games has blown away Nintendo and Sony combined.

Despite the blatant shift in business, Nintendo refuses to develop for smartphones, effectively tossing the life preserver aside. However, Sony saw the writing on the wall and developed the Xperia Play, an Android device with gaming hardware, to at least profit a little from smartphone games' overwhelming revenue.

But with numbers like this, how long can Nintendo hold out before the entire company ends up like the Zune?

(See also: Adobe Heeds Apple's Advice by Killing Flash Mobile and Google Engineer Calls Google+ a Complete Failure)

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