When Apple added the App Store to iOS, the iPhone and iPod touch became about as disruptive to the handheld video game market as the iPhone was to the smartphone industry. All of a sudden, users had easy access to thousands of low-cost video games.

But not only has Apple since sold more iOS devices than handheld systems from Nintendo and Sony put together, it’s actually sold more than all major console systems. This, among other factors, makes iOS one of the most popular gaming platforms of all time…

During its latest quarterly earnings call, Apple announced that it had sold more than 400 million iOS devices to date. And, as you can see in the graph above, that’s far more than any other console — mobile or otherwise.

But we can’t assume that everyone who owns an iOS device is a gamer. In fact, we know they’re not. So Asymco analyst Horace Dediu did some number crunching.

“At this year’s WWDC Apple offered an update on Game Center accounts. The data we have so far (about 130 million active accounts) is show in the following graph…

…Before being acquired, another network OpenFeint, announced 180 million iOS accounts in October 2011. Another figure to consider is the 40 million subscribers to Xbox Live (out of 66 million Xbox users).”

Even if we just look at the number of folks that were registered with OpenFeint, that’s still roughly 30 million more users than Playstation 2 sales. And you can’t think that this number speaks for all iOS gamers today, especially since Apple has sold millions of devices since last fall.

And what’s interesting is, Apple has achieved all of this without really trying — the developers did most of the work, Apple just gave them a platform. Imagine if it really started paying attention, say by adding an app store to its Apple TV set or making a gamepad.

What do you think, do you use your iOS devices for gaming?

[ArsTechnica]