Gaming heavyweights like Nintendo and Sony have let their dominance in the hand-held video games market slip from their fingers, a new market analysis shows.

The data-intelligence group App Annie reported in its 2013 retrospective that consumers last year spent more on Apple's iOS App Store and Google Play than on dedicated portable gaming systems like Nintendo's 3DS and Sony's PS Vista.

It was the first time revenues from app developers topped those of the traditional game makers. By the third quarter of 2013, the combined sales on Google Play and the iOS App Store were three times the size of the dedicated hand-held video gaming market.

The change signals a shift in the hand-held gaming economy, with downloadable smartphone apps like the mega-popular Candy Crush Saga making as much as $900,000 a day for its developer, London-based King.

App Annie also released its top 10 Google Play and iOS games of 2013, according to worldwide downloads figures. Perhaps not surprisingly, Candy Crush crushed the competition:

  1. Candy Crush Saga (King)
  2. Subway Surfers (Kiloo)
  3. Temple Run 2 (Imangi)
  4. Despicable Me (Gameloft)
  5. Fruit Ninja (Halfbrick)
  6. Angry Birds (Rovio)
  7. Hill Climb Racing (Fingersoft)
  8. Pou (Zakeh)
  9. 4 Pics 1 Word (LOTUM)
  10. Real Racing (Electronic Arts)
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A chart shows app store games spending surpassing sales for game-optimized handhelds. (Apps Annie)

The full App Annie retrospective report, which reveals its top nine tech trends of 2013, can be downloaded online.