Why it matters: A market analytics report by the NPD Group highlighted another big growth year for the PC gaming hardware and accessories industry. The more than 25 percent revenue increase was largely driven by continued Covid-related restrictions, forcing more people to seek alternative methods to work, play, and socialize. These increased revenues also contributed to an overall rise in digital content consumption and time spent on PC gaming.
The report highlighted the growth in consumer spending on gaming hardware and accessories, which ballooned to more than $5.74 billion in 2021. The considerable 25 percent revenue increase comes on the heels of 2020's massive 62 percent, $4.5 billion increase over 2019's figures.
The report breaks down the growth across several product categories, which were led by overall increased demand for desktop computers, laptops, and microphones. PC microphones and monitors once again topped the charts in volume growth, mirroring patterns from 2020's reported increases.
The rise in hardware revenues continues to be driven by ongoing Covid-19 restrictions, regulations, and precautions forcing users to look for new ways to work, socialize, and entertain from the comfort and safety of their own home.
Not surprisingly, NPD reported a five percent increase in digital content consumption over the last year, bringing the 2021 total to $7.9 billion. The rise in digital content also revealed an overall increase in PC gaming time, with figures rising one hour from 2020's average to 7.7 hours per week.
Rather than continuing this enormous pattern of growth, NPD's 2022 forecast predicts a decline in the gaming and hardware trend line. This decline can be attributed to the extremely high volumes moved across the 2020 and 2021 reporting periods. Based on current market saturation and Covid-based restrictions (hopefully) being lifted, it is reasonable to expect a drop in the overall demand for PC hardware and accessories as users return to life outdoors.