Apple closes in on Nintendo with 40 million iPod, iPhone gamers

Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ bold claim that Apple owns 50 percent of the mobile gaming market might not actually be a part of his reality distortion field, according to a recent survey of gamers.

40.1 million of the 77 million Americans playing games on mobile devices play them on the iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad — nearly catching Nintendo’s 41 million gamers playing the DS and DSi and blowing well past Sony’s 18 million gamers on its Playstation Portable device — according to the Newzoo International Gamers Survey 2010.

Jobs’ announcement came at an Apple event unveiling its new line of iPods, an updated operating system and a new model of the Apple TV. The new lineup included a revamped iPod Touch sporting Apple’s A4 processor that Apple is seemingly embracing as a gaming platform with the unveil of an Unreal 3 engine-powered game from Epic Games, the creators of the Gears of War series.

Sales of Apple’s iPods have been slipping as of late — in its most recent quarterly report, sales of iPods were down 8 percent from a year earlier despite posting blowout numbers in its other sales categories. The outlook for mobile games, though, looks good, as NPD group indicated that it would soon count sales of mobile games as a growing part of the market.

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