The big picture: Unsurprisingly, gaming monitors saw declining sales throughout 2022, suffering from the same falling demand and rising inflation impacting all PC hardware. However, analysts expect gaming monitor shipments to recover this year due to events in China and the emerging preference for higher refresh rates.

The latest TrendForce report confirms that gaming monitor shipments fell by 19 percent in 2022, with 19.8 million units sold compared to 22.8 million in 2021 - the market's first decline since 2016. The group predicts a slight recovery this year, possibly reaching 20.8 million units for a five percent bump.

Higher refresh rates might be the first factor to stabilize and lift the market this year. On the low-end side, multiple brands are replacing their 75Hz monitors with 100Hz models. Overall, 100Hz gaming monitors represented 3.9 percent of all gaming monitor shipments last year and might reach 9 percent in 2023.

However, most of the market seems to be in the 165-180Hz range, which comprised 51.9 percent of 2022 shipments. Due to their price similarity, they may solidify their dominance at 58 percent this year, gradually replacing 120-160Hz monitors. Displays over 200Hz could also see a slight market share increase, rising from 11.7 percent to 12 percent.

As a new arrival in the market, OLED screens are still a small presence and will likely only grow slightly throughout 2023 - from 0.6 to 1.6 percent share. The rest of the gaming monitor space is almost evenly split between Vertical Alignment (VA) LCDs and In-plane Switching (IPS) LCDs, with 51 percent and 43.4 percent market share, respectively. Analysts expect IPS models to gain popularity this year, making both types even at 48 percent.

The second positive element for gaming monitors in 2023 could be a recovering Chinese market. Demand for monitors in internet cafes could rebound as the country lifts COVID restrictions. The 2023 Asian Games, set to occur in Hangzhou from late September to early October, will include an esports category, which could also raise demand.

Even if the gaming monitor market fully recovers in 2023, the overall PC monitor market could take until 2024 to reverse its steep 2022 decline. Recently IDC reports indicate that PC monitor shipments reached an all-time low late last year and could contract further this year.