The era of portable consoles may be drawing to a close.
New data from Futuresource Consulting says that tablets have for the first time overtaken Nintendo’s 3DS as the most popular personal games device owned by UK children.
Specifically, 44 per cent of UK children between the ages of three and 12 now own a tablet, with 30 per cent of those aged three to four owning one. In addition, parents says that tablets are the most likely items they’ll purchase for their kids within the next six months – which is twice as likely as a smartphone or portable console.
Amongst kids nine and over, however, smartphones overtake tablets with 25 per cent of all nine to ten year olds owning one. This rises to 46 per cent for ages 11-12, with ownership amongst girls in particular reaching 53 per cent – it’s just 38 per cent for boys of the same age.
17 per cent of parents apparently spend over 100 a year on mobile fees for their kids.
However despite the rise in ownership, time spent playing console or PC games still ranks lower than traditional toys, with 54 per cent playing with them for five or more hours per week, although this climbs to 63 per cent for those aged 11-12.
In comparison, 63 per cent dedicate the same amount of time to traditional toys such as action figures, dolls or construction sets while 39 per cent of UK children spend five or more hours a week playing with board games and jigaws.
Interestingly, reading books remains the most popular activity for kids with 45 per cent reading every day.