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Now Amazon is pulling ahead of Nintendo in handheld gaming in the U.S.

Published Dec 4th, 2013 2:00PM EST
Nintendo 3DS Vs Amazon Kindle

It’s no news that both iOS and Android portable devices have eclipsed Nintendo’s 3DS and DS platforms over the past couple of years. But it’s a bit of a surprise that now even Amazon’s Kindle devices are moving ahead of Nintendo’s systems when U.S. gamers are polled about their favorite portable gaming system. The new IDC-App Annie report on the gaming ecosystem represents another grim setback for Nintendo. There are now three different smartphone/tablet ecosystems that American consumers view more favorably as gaming platforms than Nintendo’s offerings.

Interestingly, IDC polled American iPad gamers about what their other gaming platforms are, and it’s in this area that Amazon is doing damage to Nintendo. 18% of iPad gamers also play games on Kindle devices, while less than 10% play on Nintendo’s DS devices. It seems that many households are Apple-Amazon dual users. And people familiar with the iPad’s game selection are easily persuaded to play tablet games on Kindles.

The combined force of Apple, Google and Amazon continues pulling American consumers away from Nintendo’s closed hardware ecosystem. Yet solid sales of 3DS games over the past year in Japan and the U.S. has apparently persuaded Nintendo that it does not need to address the tablet market. In this case, the swan song success of the 3DS may be lulling the Japanese gaming giant into a false sense of confidence about the long-term prospects of dedicated portable consoles.

After launching mobile game company SpringToys tragically early in 2000, Tero Kuittinen spent eight years doing equity research at firms including Alliance Capital and Opstock. He is currently an analyst and VP of North American sales at mobile diagnostics and expense management Alekstra, and has contributed to, Forbes and Business 2.0 Magazine in addition to BGR.