Some say PC gaming is dying, but numbers compiled by market research firm Jon Peddie Research suggest the contrary. The firm's latest report says the PC gaming hardware market as a whole will be worth "just over $20 billion" this year, and it expects that figure to jump to $34 billion by 2012.
According to JPR's compound annual growth rate numbers, the mainstream segment (where gaming reportedly motivates only 6% of purchases) will see the most growth of all: 21%, compared to 19% for the "performance" segment and 9% for enthusiasts. Gaming notebooks are showing "strong gains," and JPR says it discovered a "robust market of do-it-yourselfers and consumers who upgrade their PCs with high-performance gaming graphics boards."
Report co-author Ted Pollak comments, "Enthusiast PC gamers often latch onto one or two games that offer multiplayer options and stick to these titles for years. Hardware is where they spend the big bucks. The retail numbers don't capture the casual and digitally distributed games either. Retail software figures are not an accurate barometer for the health of the PC gaming industry."
As an interesting side note, JPR says the current economic climate might stifle console sales and push more folks toward PC gaming. Buying a high-definition TV to accommodate a next-gen console is a significant investment, and consoles are more limited in what they can do than PCs, the report explains.
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