Video games were once mostly played on PCs or consoles. However, smartphones gradually overtook both platforms over the past decade, and eMarketer recently found that roughly two-thirds of all male and female gamers worldwide played mobile games.

Chart showing preferred gaming platforms by gender.

Data source: eMarketer. Chart by author.

The study also shattered the stereotype of the young male gamer. Eighty-eight percent of men and 83% of women played games, and over 70% of adults aged 45-64 still played games at least once a month.

This market shift is great news for mobile game developers, but it's less encouraging for console makers like Sony (NYSE:SONY), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), and Nintendo (OTC:NTDOY).

However, Sony is already preparing for a console-free future with PlayStation Now, a cloud gaming service that runs on multiple platforms. Microsoft is developing a similar platform called Project xCloud, and Nintendo already publishes mobile games. Alphabet's Google also plans to launch its cloud gaming platform, Stadia, later this year.

It's unlikely that smartphone games will ever render PC and console games obsolete. Instead, this shift should significantly expand the gaming market, and developers will likely launch a wider range of games to reach a broader audience.

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