JPR: Enthusiast gaming PC hardware is a $9.5 billion market

Top-of-the-line gaming PC components are a big business, according to a new report by Jon Peddie Research. The market analysis firm says that, out of all the money spent on “gaming motivated PC hardware” in 2009, a whopping 46% of it went toward so-called enthusiast parts. In this case, that term refers to “boutique PCs, high-end processors and graphics cards, SSD’s, specialized gaming mice, keyboards, speakers, monitors, etc.”

All in all, expenditure in that part of the market reportedly totaled a cool $9.5 billion in 2009. Not bad.

JPR expects top-of-the-line gaming hardware revenue will continue to grow over the next few years, although it will make up a smaller portion of the overall gaming PC market:

By 2013 the Enthusiast class will lose market share to the Performance and Mainstream classes from 46% to 35% of dollars spent. The good news for Enthusiast hardware producers is that this “market share shrink” occurs in an expanding market and expenditures on the Enthusiast class will grow from $9.5 billion to almost $12.5 billion in 2013.

Why the market share shrink? As JPR analyst Ted Pollak points out in the report, hardware requirements for PC games are stagnating. Users can therefore get away with more modest components that still run cross-platform games smoothly. Perhaps the launch of next-generation consoles between now and 2013 could change that, though. JPR doesn’t seem to address that possibility.

The same report includes a few other nuggets of information. Most interestingly, JPR estimates that the do-it-yourself PC building and upgrading market generates $10.4 billion in sales each year. Before you go thinking that’s a mere subset of the gaming PC business, JPR says the figure spans “all purchasing motivation, including business applications.”

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    • Voldenuit
    • 10 years ago

    So… 54% of gamers *[

      • Kunikos
      • 10 years ago

      “mainstream” gaming parts?

    • sigher
    • 10 years ago

    Looking at the pricing history of the hd58xx cards I see they have been slowly going UP since introduction, and the hd5850 still has a very low availability, in a recent twitter to the ATI driver guy a person saying he runs a shop says he had them on backorder since December last year.. which I think is a nice example, albeit anecdotal.

    So yeah that way you get to 9.5 billion I guess, good job there guys..

      • BoBzeBuilder
      • 10 years ago

      What is this very low availability you are talking about? There are 8 different 5850s available at newegg, and they’ve been available for a very long time now.

    • Thanato
    • 10 years ago

    I think there’s a level of quality that has been achieved in game engines that might cause the technological divide between consoles and pc’s to continue to grow. Games look great now a days and it’s hard to improve things that don’t need improving or can’t be improved (art production wise). If that’s the case I can see the market changing as tech gets smaller. Consoles systems might start migrating out from the homes of gamers. I also think as PC get more CPU’s and GPU’s they become something new. Either future PC start supporting multiple users simultaneously or they have to stop selling high end systems for home use because even pc gaming enthusiasts will stop caring about high end parts when there aren’t any games for high end pc’s.

    • ssidbroadcast
    • 10 years ago

    Front image: Alienware PC brought to you by the Covenant Elite?

      • Meadows
      • 10 years ago

      You would’ve been more satisfied with /[

        • ssidbroadcast
        • 10 years ago

        I suppose.

    • thermistor
    • 10 years ago

    #19…I always buy the highest-end I can find ‘cuz they have the picture of the hot red-head with the katana’s (heh!) on them.

    • tejas84
    • 10 years ago

    Hell yes this is good news for us PC gamers/enthusiasts who buy the best!

      • OneArmedScissor
      • 10 years ago

      It’s good that “gamers” have been proved to be easily manipulated into paying excessive price premiums?!? That seems like something I’d want to hide.

        • Gerbil Jedidiah
        • 10 years ago

        Actually I would argue that the enthusiast, gamer, system builder crowd… however you want to classify them… is more educated about their purchasing decision and buys a machine that better suits their needs. Sure, they may generate more profit for the hardware companies, but they know what they’re getting for their dollar, so who is hurt by that? I drop stupid money sometimes on upgrades, but I know why I’m doing it, what I can expect to get out of it, and how much of a “deal” I’m getting.

          • tejas84
          • 10 years ago

          this.

          PC enthusiasts “generally” are more informed about purchasing decisions particularly pertaining to shambolic rebrands cough** Nvidia GT250 and AMD 890 Chipset cough**

          • djgandy
          • 10 years ago

          Surely if you are a smart enthusiast you wouldn’t be buying top end parts? Unless of course you have disposable income.

          Why buy a Extreme/Ultra/XXXXXXXXX edition when you can get 10% less performance for 50% less price?

            • kuraegomon
            • 10 years ago

            You make it sound like it’s all about frame rates. That 50% more expensive part may make the difference between high and medium quality settings (at a smooth frame rate) at your preferred resolution. Especially if you’re gaming at 2560×1600.

            • reactorfuel
            • 10 years ago

            If you’re playing *[

            • ImSpartacus
            • 10 years ago

            I agree. If you’re gaming at anything past 1080p, you already have more money than you know what to do with.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 10 years ago

            or spent money you don’t have. 😉

          • OneArmedScissor
          • 10 years ago

          You are talking about many very different kinds of people and lumping them all together.

          That is not what this article is about. In fact, I even used the wrong term in my reply to tejas84, but what I was referring to was the “enthusiast” part of it. I know plenty of “gamers” who use very old hardware and couldn’t care less.

        • BKA
        • 10 years ago

        I don’t know, I consider being a PC gamer and enthusiast more of a hobby. At least thats how I justify my purchases to the wife. JK. Seriously, being a PC enthusiast has always been expensive. Its what I do for a living and I love it. Something about running the latest piece of hardware gets me all bubbly. LOL.

        I recently ran across a receipt from 1998 or 1999(don’t have it with me) but it was for a 6GB hard drive that I paid $150 for. I remember being so excited to go from a 1.2GB drive with data spread across LS-120 discs that I couldn’t wait to get home and install that thing. Looking at that justified my OCZ SSD 60GB purchase for $160 AR.

        • CasbahBoy
        • 10 years ago

        Sure, I suppose, if you want to make the unfounded assumption that those 9.5 billion dollars are spread amongst a disproportionately (as compared to the consumer electronics market, for example) small number of people.

          • OneArmedScissor
          • 10 years ago

          That’s exactly what the article is saying:

          “The market analysis firm says that, out of all the money spent on “gaming motivated PC hardware” in 2009, a whopping 46% of it went toward so-called enthusiast parts. In this case, that term refers to “boutique PCs, high-end processors and graphics cards, SSD’s, specialized gaming mice, keyboards, speakers, monitors, etc.””

          I don’t see why it has to be in comparison to anything else. The point still stands that half the money comes from “flashy” things.

            • CasbahBoy
            • 10 years ago

            I’m going to have to partially disagree and say that what you quoted is not exactly what I said above, but it is probably close enough.

            It think you are taking it a little too far to take what that article says to the point of implying that the market is “easily manipulated into paying excessive price premiums.”

            What do they categorize as a high-end processor or graphics card? What price point/performance level? It sounds like they consider ALL solid state drives to be boutique products, but who knows for sure. Specialized gaming mice? If they’re categorizing anything above the usual (terrible, by the way) cheapo $15 mouse then phew.

            It is inflammatory and misleading to take the little information presented to us and jump to the conclusion that computer enthusiasts are easily manipulated. And to disagree with one of your earlier statements, the fact that this report was posted is not a bad thing for us at all because all it will do is drive more business, and hopefully more competition, to the product categories in which we’re interested.

            • ImSpartacus
            • 10 years ago

            I kinda agree.

            90% of the population would take a look at my Logitech MX Revolution and go “Oh, he must play really advanced video games or something.” My mouse is not a gaming mouse. It was expensive (and totally worth it…), but it’s technically not a gaming mouse.

            On the flip side, Newegg is selling the venerable MX518 for just over a third of the asking price of a new MX Revolution on Amazon.

            The MX518 is a gaming mouse, the MX Revolution is not.

            Companies can tack “fatal1ty” on a product and call it “gaming hardware”. It’s all marketing.

    • wira020
    • 10 years ago

    Well, the ultra expensive 6 core i7 is sold out after all…

    • blastdoor
    • 10 years ago

    reply fail

    • khands
    • 10 years ago

    Interesting, bigger than I thought it would be, but it does go to show how badly piracy is effecting the market.

      • rpsgc
      • 10 years ago

      “Interesting, bigger than I thought it would be, but it does go to show how badly the *[

        • Meadows
        • 10 years ago

        g{<"/[

        • outcast
        • 10 years ago

        “Interesting, bigger than I thought it would be, but it does go to show how badly g[

      • SubSeven
      • 10 years ago

      What does piracy have anything to do with this? I fail to see your reasoning and or logic.

        • blastdoor
        • 10 years ago

        Oh you know, all those people who download their graphics cards off the Internet and copy CPUs from their friends… (?)

          • SubSeven
          • 10 years ago

          Oh snap!!! Didn’t know you can do that. Can you send me link or torrent where I can find me a nice 5870 and a core i7?

            • Vaughn
            • 10 years ago

            I have the link

            go to the piratesbay

            and search for “I don’t know what the fuck I’m talking about”

        • VaultDweller
        • 10 years ago

        I think he’s making the following conclusions:
        1) People apparently aren’t buying many PC games (or so people say)
        2) Lots of money spent on gaming hardware implies lots of people are playing games, despite a lack of game sales
        3) Lots of people playing games but not buying game suggests piracy
        4) Lots of money spent on gaming hardware suggests that poor game sales are not a lack-of-money issue, but rather a matter of gamers putting all their money into the stuff that they can’t get for free from BitTorrent.

      • grantmeaname
      • 10 years ago

      go reread the post again, do us all a favor.

      • wira020
      • 10 years ago

      You’re right, people have to stop buying pirated hardware..

      • khands
      • 10 years ago

      Consider the average gaming PC right now costs about $800 (can be more or less, but we’ll just use this number for right now). Divide that number into 10.4 billion and you’ve got 13million new gaming capable PC’s (or parts equivalent used in upgrading older PC’s). Lets assume the average PC gamer does a full rebuild every 4 years. Which would put somewhere around 52million current game capable PCs (even if they had to lower settings a bit), if those people bought only 5 PC games per year at an average of $30/game, that would put the PC gaming market at ~$7.8 billion dollars, excluding subscription based (WoW alone brought in a billion dollars last year).

      This being said, “badly” wasn’t the right term, I should have said “poorly”, or rather “little” instead, as most of you took it to mean how much it was a detriment, instead of how inconsequential it really is.

        • LovermanOwens
        • 10 years ago

        This still makes little sense. The word “piracy” is the issue here. Espically when we are talking about hardware. There is no talk about software sales is there?

        • Meadows
        • 10 years ago

        Why are you talking about games?

          • khands
          • 10 years ago

          Cause that’s what I meant in the OP, once again, I should’ve thought through it a little bit better. I wasn’t talking about hardware piracy at all, but of course I failed to mention that.

            • Meadows
            • 10 years ago

            What _[

            • RumpleForeSkin72
            • 10 years ago

            newegg i7 processors?

            • Meadows
            • 10 years ago

            That can’t possibly be the significant dent khands was referring to when he pointed to the market size of gaming hardware.

            Although it’s safe to say nobody even knows _[

            • khands
            • 10 years ago

            I was talking about the size of the PC gaming market, and relating that to what was sold last year, and then trying to find out where game piracy fit into it, and the average PC gamer would have to buy something like 4 or 5 games every year, which isn’t bad really.

            • Meadows
            • 10 years ago

            Point is, this news post isn’t even about the gaming market. That one has been discussed to death.

            • khands
            • 10 years ago

            Just forget it Meadows, I’ll try and be less obtuse from the beginning next time.

    • rodney_ws
    • 10 years ago

    I HATE cross-platform games when it feels like the PC version is just a crappy console port. That said… I don’t feel that way about BC2. The mouse really makes that game.

      • wingless
      • 10 years ago

      Your view about BC2 has motivated me to buy it this weekend. Thank you. I have console ports too.

        • EndlessWaves
        • 10 years ago

        The GUI is lousy but I’m not sure the port is entirely to blame for that.

      • BKA
      • 10 years ago

      Yeah, we PC gamers have had some bad and good ports. Its been more good for me the last year though. Resident Evil 5, Street Fighter IV and The Last Remnant are a few games where the PC version was better than the console. DragonAge would probably be the best port of the last year, but thats more of a PC game to console port isn’t it? And recently Metro 2033.

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