Gamers have more distractions than ever before — not only are there three main console makers, but players are also tempted with smartphone, tablet and web-based games, meaning that the amount of time they have to devote to any single title is reduced. Compare this to two decades ago, and most gamers would perhaps get one new title every few weeks, if they were lucky — a very different situation.
Of course, it's not just games that cause distractions - elements such as social networking pull people away as well, and having the internet at your fingertips is a temptation in itself.
Nintendo President Satoru Iwata feels that this "information overload" makes his company's job harder than ever:
What I feel most now is that getting the attention of customers in video games is much more difficult than before. With all of the information that people have access to now, the ability to pay attention is limited. These big differences occur, whether we like it or not.
However, during the same interview Iwata was keen to point out the positive benefits of elements like social networking, which helped Animal Crossing: New Leaf achieve its incredible popularity. The game launched last year in Japan yet it continues to sell well, and Iwata attributes this evergreen success to people talking about the game online.
Do you personally feel that your gaming time is being limited by the rise of smartphones and tablets? Post a comment to tell us.