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3G gamers opt for simple gaming

Time-filling, not compulsive playing

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3GSM Puzzles and card games are the most popular mobile phone games as users fill in time waiting for a bus or sitting on the tube, according to new research.

M:Metrics and I-Play found that users prefer retro games from their youth to the kind of immersive games offered by consoles.

The good news for the industry is that owners of 3G handsets are playing around twice as many games.

Less than two per cent of 3G users in Europe have a first-person shooting game installed, compared to 6.3 per cent with card games and 7.8 per cent with puzzles. In the US the situation is similar, but Casino games find their way onto 4.5 per cent of phones compared to only 2.6 per cent in Europe.

This news will come as a disappointment to many in the industry who were expecting huge growth in mobile phone gaming, and have been blaming the lack of 3D acceleration on the slow uptake. The fact is that mobile phones make an indifferent gaming platform at best, and it will take something better than 3D graphics to sell mobile gaming to more than a small percentage of users. ®

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