PC gamers fuel hardware sales in otherwise stagnant market

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gaming, pc, shipments, pc gaming

There’s no denying the market is increasingly moving away from desktop computers and towards mobile devices. We see reports highlighting this quarter after quarter along with several explanations for the trend; from price sensitivity to maturing markets and longer PC hardware upgrade cycles. But despite the gloomy headlines forecasting the death of PCs there’s one area of the market that’s still thriving: PC gamers and enthusiasts.

According to Jon Peddie Research, PC gamers continue buying and building PCs “with a fervency that could be compared to motorcycle, 4X4, and sports car enthusiasts, always looking for more speed, power, utility, and handling.” The market research firm says that they are expecting growth in the most expensive discrete graphics products, while embedded graphics offerings should do well in this and future generations.

Overall -- save for a year-on-year drop from $18.3 to $17.8 billion in 2013 -- the global PC gaming hardware market is forecasted to grow every year throughout 2016, reaching a $20.8 billion valuation.

JPR notes that gaming is becoming an even more important purchasing influencer of PC sales, and with some titles pushing the envelope on both the CPU and GPU, hardware upgrades often involve more than just swapping out the graphics add-in board. Using Bohemia Interactive's ARMA 3 as an example, the company says it is estimating over $800 million of PC builds influenced primarily by this title.

The group concludes that while consoles have a place in the living room and mobile devices are indeed moving into gaming territory, they just can't compete with the PC's control precision and power. Of course there’s just one important aspect JPR failed to mention and that is developers’ continued support for the platform, so here’s hoping we’ll see a healthy stream of titles optimized for PCs and less of underwhelming console ports.

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