With the price and availability of today’s tablets and smartphones, it is a must for most everyone that is constantly on the go.  With a seemingly endless variety of applications there is a convergence of information, communication and gaming all in one handheld device.

Projected sales for handheld game consoles drop.

This epidemic has caused the projected sales of handheld gaming devices from Nintendo and Sony to fall from a peak of 47 million in 2008 to 38 million in 2013.

The Rise of Game Apps, The Fall of Handheld Consoles

While the Sony PSP line and the Nintendo DS line sustain more uses than just gaming, the portable consoles don’t have as many applications as iOS and Android with a seemingly endless amount of apps available.

The Nintendo Company which is the world’s largest maker of video-game machines, cut profit and sales forecasts as free titles on smartphones and tablets deter consumers from buying separate gaming devices. While the annual sales of Nintendo’s 3DS portable player, introduced last year, will be 17.5 million units, 5.4 percent lower than previously estimated.

EA’s packaged games produced $568 million during the fourth quarter of 2012, a 23 percent drop from the $738 million they grossed during the same quarter from the previous year. While EA is still has fan favorites with games like Medal of Honor and Battlefield, “the losers are getting hit hard,” said CEO John Riccitello.

Can portable game consoles keep up with tablets and smartphones?

Accessibility, mobility and application convergence has made portable devices, especially in the area of gaming, the next evolution in individual entertainment.  This was the case in the 1980’s in which home gaming consoles such as Atari, Nintendo and Sega made video arcades a thing of the past.

With the decline of portable console sales and the multitude of free gaming apps available to smartphone and tablet users,  is it possible that they could eventually become obsolete? Or will dedicated gamers prefer more indepth games as opposed to simple game applications and continue to keep handheld game consoles around for years to come?

[Image via g4tv]