Forward-looking: With the next generation of consoles on the horizon and cloud-based game streaming looking promising, will PC gamers be tempted to move onto something else? Yes, according to Jon Peddie Research (JPR). The market research firm believes 20 million people will leave the PC in favor of TV and cloud gaming platforms.
In a recent report, JPR forecasts that most of those who abandon PC gaming between now and 2022 will be owners of low-end computers, which it classes as under $1000 for a full build. It adds that improvements in TV displays and console semiconductors, along with more console-exclusive titles, will see a number of mid-range and high-end PC gamers also defect.
We know the PlayStation 5 isn’t arriving for another 12 months, but some of the console’s specs have been confirmed, including 8K and ray tracing support, an SSD, and the use of AMD’s 7nm third-generation Ryzen CPU (Zen 2) along with a custom Radeon Navi graphics GPU. Microsoft’s Xbox One successor, meanwhile, is rumored to be even more powerful.
The report notes how devices such as Nvidia’s Shield and Apple TV could draw away PC gamers. There are also cloud-based streaming services such as Google’s Stadia, which only requires a Chrome browser and an internet connection to enable 4K HDR streaming at 60 frames per second.
The PC market has been declining in recent years, and JPR says this is “loosely correlated” with gamers moving on. “The PC market continues to decline because the innovation that took place in the past providing speed ups and clever new things has all but stopped, plus the product introduction times are stretching out to four years,” said JPR president, Jon Peddie.
It’s noted that the failure of Moore’s Law isn’t helping the situation. Processors aren’t improving at the same rate they did in the past, extending product cycles to four years.
Those of certain age will know that people have been predicting the death of the PC as a gaming platform since the 1990s, so this isn’t anything new. While next-gen consoles and services might draw away some PC gamers, the platform will always boast advantages over its competitors, from the joy of building your own rig, to extensive mod support, to the wealth of hardware accessories it offers. And even if 20 million people do leave, it won’t make much of a dent to the approximate 1.3 billion PC gamers in the world.
To read more about the future of the desktop PC, check out our feature.