Tablet gaming has really taken off in the past few years, and the continued growth of the underlying forces – tablet  sales, mobile Internet subscribers and app downloads – all point to a bright future for the interactive entertainment industry.

The numbers are surely impressive. Forrester predicts that by 2016 375 million tablets will be sold, representing a CAGR of 46%, and 760 million tablets will be in use overall. A survey by Google showed that 84% of tablet owners are using them for gaming. The tablet gaming market which was estimated to be $491 million in 2011, is expected to grow to $3.1 billion worldwide by 2014.

A major trend observed in the mobile gaming scene, is the increase in time spent per playing session on a tablet, which is longer than that spent on a smartphone. According to Flurry Analytics, consumers spend 71% more of their time playing games on tablets versus smartphones. With increasing tablet sales and advances in mobile device and game development, this industry will be one to watch in the coming years.

The recent iPad mini introduction from Apple is especially positive for gaming because it expands the player audience and introduces a device that may be more comfortable in gamer hands. With full iPad resolution, iOS 6 functionality, and a reasonably fast processor in a super light, portable, one-hand format for a reasonable price, iPad mini stands a good chance of doubling the size of the iPad gaming market over the next year.

In the Apple universe, it is now possible to stream photos, music or movies wirelessly to our televisions, using the AirPlay function in the iPhones, iPads or Mac computers via Apple TV, or to devices, like special AirPlay speakers or receivers. The iPad Mini quietly promises more convergence, especially on the gaming front. While SmartGlass is being tabbed as a Windows 8-Xbox 360 binder, it is also be available as an iOS app. As well, for specific iOS games, the day is not too far away when you will be able to play a game on the television, via MacBook, controlling the action with your iPad mini – or reflect directly onto a bigger screen. Exactly how the iPad mini will develop into a controller or a first-screen “must-have” gaming device, will take some time and developer acumen though.

Read the full blueocean report “The iPad mini: a game changer?”

By Praveen Srikantaiah/ Ishma Siddiqi

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