A new report concerning the PC gaming hardware market indicates that computer-based sales will continue to grow at a rate of 11 percent from now until at least 2014. These figures are primarily based on the fact that over 250 million game-capable PCs will ship in 2011, compared to only 230 million PS3, Wii and Xbox 360 consoles that have shipped since 2005.

Despite the onslaught of competition and the ongoing economic recession, Jon Peddie Research believes the PC gaming hardware market will generate $19 billion in sales in 2011. The research firm estimates that half a billion people regularly play PC games, an increase of about 3 percent in their 2011 forecast.

It's no secret that PC gaming has seen its share of hard times in the past few years and there are several factors in play that have brought about the current state of computer gaming. Despite the comparatively low numbers mentioned above versus gaming-capable PC shipments, console popularity has exploded in recent years. Online multiplayer gaming has transformed the competitive landscape. More adults and females are gaming than ever before.

New markets like social networking and mobile gaming on tablets and smartphones continue to threaten the PC 's gaming reputation, a phenomenon that senior gaming analyst Ted Pollak noted in his research.

"We are starting to see mobile computers dig into the sales of low end PCs a bit. Consequently this has actually increased the average gaming purchase motivation for mainstream desktops and notebooks because some people with very low computing requirements have been taken out of the denominator, and the potential customer base for desktops and notebooks is more concentrated due to their superior performance in graphically intense applications."

Regardless of new markets or trend changes, there's still plenty of reason to love PC gaming. Even mid-grade computers offer more powerful hardware than current generation consoles, resulting in superior graphics, largely in part to increased resolution capabilities. Some games are also much easier to play with a mouse and keyboard, such as first person shooters.