Apple’s Stats Show iOS Is More Popular Than PS3 And Xbox 360

Normally when people start spouting figures about mobile devices selling like unibody hot cakes, stoic defenders of the traditional consoles cite the (factual) old faithful: not everyone that buys a smartphone plays games.

This is true. But Apple’s figures for Game Center – the service that you activate on your iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch when you want to play against other online and compare achievements – show that over 130 million people do play games.


That puts iOS devices way beyond the likes of the PS3 and Xbox 360. There’s still the notion that someone might activate it and then never use it, but that could also apply to those buying a PS3 to watch Blu-ray movies on, right?

And that’s not all. Cult Of Mac is saying that Apple’s iOS devices are likely to become the world’s biggest gaming platform by the end of the year. To do this they’ll need to make that figure 200 million, which would surpass Nintendo’s DS.

It’s not unreasonable: there’s already 180 million OpenFeint accounts, the precursor to Game Center.

Sure, some people might have more than one account, but it’s clear the market is there, and the figures at the very least make you stop and think for a moment. Even Crytek CEO Cevat Yerli thinks that the future is – potentially – the tablet.

“The current generations are drying out, and the longer we wait for the next generation of consoles, the higher the likelihood that they could fall behind tablets in terms of being the first thing people reach for when the time comes to play games,” Yerli said in a recent interview.

“Tablets are putting pressure on the gaming industry, and taking over in some ways, so that should be kept in mind,” he added.



  1. What that figure doesn’t account for is how many people are buying it as a games machine, rather than a phone that they can play games on. Until I see that stat, I really don’t care about the rest of them.

    • Or as a music player, etc. etc..

      I didn’t buy my iPod Touch or iPad to play games, and I hardly do play games on them, but I’m still registered for Game Center.

      • Doesn’t matter, does it? If people are signed up for Game Center (or OpenFeint) they’ve registered to play games. You can play games without registering for either, too.

      • And I registered for MySpace to use MySpace, doesn’t mean I did. Show me an active users stat then.

      • Don’t follow you. The stat shows that more people have signed up for a Game Center account than PS3s have been sold.

        It’s hard to imagine a world where that isn’t an incredible turn around.

        Compare it with PSN accounts if you like… ;)

      • Yep, and that’s lovely and all, but how many people actually use their Game Center accounts and play games on it? How many are active on it, and how active is the average person? For instance, there are millions of people with PCs, and at least 30 million have registered for Steam. That’s 30 million as of 2010. So how many of those people actively play PC games on their Steam account? Any figure like the one in the article is utterly meaningless unless we know how active people are and how often the play games.

      • But we’re comparing iPhones with the likes of a PS3. Feels a little pointless to me. Like when someone says “but I could buy a PS3 for that” when folk were sizing up the Vita. A little bit redundant but good to see the mobile market blossoming so well.

  2. Stupid stat. I have a game center acount but I dont have an ipod anymore, they need to count active accounts then come back.

    • So? I have three PS3s, one is dead and another is 500 miles away.

      • And? Are we discussing Sony? No, we are talking about Apple and I am saying the stat merely proves 130m accounts have been created.

        Doesnt not mean they are playing games – of course that means there are probably millions who play games but dont use game centre, and there will be duplicates etc.


      • But TuffCub what you are forgetting is Alex is a flagrant Apple fan boy and will write up an article for any BS their PR department puts out. I’ve begun to ignore these Apple headlines. Their figures are hugely skewed and biased.

      • As much as Id like to disagree with you the fact the source of the news is called ‘Cult Of Mac’ makes it hard to argue the point :)

        The point is all the stats and numbers from companies – not just Apple – are usually bollocks.

        The headline is correct – “Apple’s Stats Show iOS Is More Popular Than PS3 And Xbox 360” – but that’s to be expected, there are more iPhones that PS3s so yes there are more things runing iOS.

        However – and this has just occured to me – what about Facebook? That has a lot more players than Apple, so the claim that iOS is going to the biggest gaming platform is actually wrong by about 700 million.

        Amazin what you can do with stats.

      • ‘The headline is correct – “Apple’s Stats Show iOS Is More Popular Than PS3 And Xbox 360″ – but that’s to be expected, there are more iPhones that PS3s so yes there are more things runing iOS.’

        Came in here to say this but you beat me to it Tuffcub. The problem I have with the ‘OMG mobile gaming taking over the world and killing the PS360’ articles is that they’re very easily manouvered to look more implicit than they really are. How many people have a smartphone these days versus a games console? It’s natural many will want to play games on them. Some, like I, will have tried it for the novelty value of being able to do so and realised they hate it. I have Sonic 2 and GTA3 on my iphone but I have not played either of them in a long while. More numbers equals higher stats, obviously. It does not equal realistic representations of the market as it stands in relation to gaming as a whole though.

  3. I’ve recently bought an iPad and love it, but it in no way provides as satisfying a gaming experience as a console. I think it will be away off yet before dedicated gamers reach for the tablet first.

    • For me, the iPad needs a seperate controller before I consider it to be a “hardcore” gaming device.

  4. this stat is pointless imo signed up to never use it.

  5. Open Feint isn’t even iOS exclusive- it’s in my Nokia N8 too, and I assume it’s on Android.

    I wonder what hours of playtime logged are like? PC or console? Can’t see mobile anything winning that (even if we combined all mobiles with handhelds like the DS).

  6. Isn’t this similar to when Sony state how many PSN accounts they have and people rip it apart to say how many are duplicate accounts?

    Can’t think of anyone I know that actual uses game centre and none of them are contemplating dropping consoles for mobile gaming anytime soon.

  7. At the end of the day does it matter?

    You can’t compare ios gamecenter to live/psn as they aren’t even in the same ballpark. one is for free/69p games for a throwaway crowd the othe ris for gamers who tend to spend more.

    I read somewhere that Gameloft (owned by Ubisoft) is making around $60m from ios from all games etc but bear in mind Assassins creed 3 probably has a budget of that..

    The comparisons just don’t compute – articles comparing or putting ps3/360 in competition with ios is redundant just like this article.

    Btw I have an iphone and an ipad and a ps3 and a 360 and I can tell you now although the odd 5 mins of bejeweled may be fun and I may be classed a an ios gamer I certainly do not class the game time as anything other than a distracted whilst waiting for something – a dump to emerge outta my ass in the toilet for example :)

    • ^And This.

    • Agreed. I don’t want to know how much I’ve spent on PS3 games, but I know I haven’t spent a single Euro on any Ipad game (and yes, I do have an Ipad).

  8. Mobile gaming for the masses is just a new nd different market, it doesn’t mean the traditional market doesn’t exist anymore. Even if the traditional ‘real’ games market contracted significantly it would still be met. What may change are the developers; mobile gaming is a much more profitable option at the moment.

    It could be a great improvement for the current gaming industry if consumer levels reduced to what they were a decade ago and profit-led development moved elsewhere.

    • Mobile gaming isn’t necessarily more profitable, it’s only profitable if you’re in “the 1%” of the iOS store. Everyone else spends a low amount of money to make a game and then doesn’t make it back. There was some game that involved the player directing a horde of zombies with the touchscreen, I think only one or two people made the game and it was featured on the iOS store for a few weeks. It ended up not being profitable at all, even with all the publicity; they lost a bunch of money and after a few weeks just totally lost their market to the millions of other games trying to grab at the almighty casual dollar.

      Mobile gaming is a big gamble, console gaming is a much more solid business option. Mobile gaming’s a joke anyways, besides Plants vs Zombies I haven’t seen any mobile games that can even compare favorably with Gameboy Advance titles in terms of depth and complexity. The control limitations ensure that even when your phone is as powerful eight years from now as a gaming PC rocking dual-7970s and a high-end i7 processor, you still can’t play games as good as what you’d find on any other platform. It’s just not possible until controls become a standardized feature on most phones, and I just don’t see that ever happening.

  9. When will we ever see a game that makes as much revenue as
    CoD on ios? Right, never.

  10. many seem to see mobile gaming as a threat to the more traditional forms, like console and pc.
    but it seems to me that it could actually be beneficial.

    mobile gaming could become bigger than console/pc gaming, but even then i don’t think it would adversely affect the console/pc market.
    the way i see it, they’re two different markets.

    there may be overlap, but i believe that’s either people who get into gaming through a mobile device and then want more so they get a home games machine, or people who have a home machine wanting a mobile platform.

    either way, i see that only benefiting the traditional gaming market.

    i can’t see many abandoning their home machine with a real controller and a the big screen of their tv for solely mobile gaming.

    maybe i’m wrong, but i just don’t see mobile gaming as a threat, just an opportunity to create more gamers, and that has to be a good thing for the industry right?

    • Indeed, it’s analagous to the piracy takes away sales news stories. Just because people play games on mobiles, doesn’t mean that it has taken away users on other platforms.

      Also, such figures will hopefully push developers on all fronts to make better or more worthwhile games, regardless of platform.

      Personally, the amount of time spent on my mobile playing games is far less than on my 3DS, home consoles or PC. I have a choice and I choose. Some mobile gamers don’t have a choice, so play on mobiles and won’t actually even think to take it further. Some will.

Comments are now closed for this post.