New research from IDC and App Annie's Portable Gaming Spotlight 2013 Review suggests that tablets may truly be the new handheld consoles, despite the ongoing success of actual dedicated handhelds like the Nintendo 3DS and (to a much lesser degree) Sony's PS Vita.
According to the data, consumer tablet ownership surpassed ownership of dedicated portable gaming systems for the first time ever in the final quarter of 2013. That means more people have iPads, Nexus 7s, and other tablets than have a 3DS or PS Vita. This isn't exactly surprising, but it is certainly notable.
And those tablet owners are definitely gaming. More than three quarters of combined iOS App Store and Google Play spending in all app categories combined during the last three months of 2013 came from games, a number that's risen since the same period in 2012, the report found.
And—as if I need to tell you this—it was a very good year for GungHo's Puzzle & Dragons, which the report suggests may be the first game ever to simultaneously sit among the three highest-grossing apps on iOS, Android and a gaming handheld (the 3DS in this case).
Does this mean more tablet games will come to 3DS and PS Vita in 2014? Or—gasp—that more Nintendo and Sony games will come to tablets in the future? Time will tell!