PC the most popular gaming platform in the UK

If I had a nickel for every time a forum fanboy or industry analyst foretold the death of PC gaming at the hands of consoles, I’d probably have at least enough money for lunch. Every time a new console generation comes out, we hear the same tired predictions. The quality of some PC games may have suffered due to developers scaling back their ambitions to fit within the confines of the current console generation, but PC gaming hasn’t gone anywhere.

In fact, the PC is the most popular gaming platform in the UK. According to a study conducted by the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association and the Interactive Software Federation of Europe, more Brits game on the PC than on any single console. 33% of gamers reportedly play on the PC. That’s enough to establish that PC has the largest share of any gaming platform, but the details beyond that are scarce. The study found that the Wii and Xbox 360 together capture 36% of gamers. It’s unclear where either of those consoles sits individually or how the PlayStation 3 fares.

The study’s definition of "gamer" may have affected the rankings, as well. 55% of gamers are said to play "mini-games" online, but there’s no word on whether burning hours of productivity at work playing silly little flash games qualifies someone as a PC gamer. The groups that conducted the survey seems to acknowledge that the makeup of the PC gaming market is changing, though.

In a statement, ELSPA and ISFE say "this new gamer is steering away from the traditional shoot-em-up genre, preferring to challenge their cerebral cortex rather than their hand-eye co-ordination". The two say a 65 per cent of gamers play puzzle games online, with only 18 per cent enjoying a more conventional online multiplayer game.

That might bode well for gaming on the PC as a whole, but it may do little to encourage developers of more conventional titles to prioritize PC development over consoles.

Comments closed
    • l33t-g4m3r
    • 9 years ago

    PC only here, and no I don’t think it’s dead.
    What really died was all the blind faith we had in blood sucking soulless corporations playing divide and conquer to split us up for the sole purpose of maximizing sales.

    Anyone with two brain cells to rub together realizes this and doesn’t get sucked in to the marketing of BUY!-BUY!-BUY!-DAY1-$60+!.
    (Marketers need to go take bill hicks advice.)
    You can only buy so many full-price shitty console ports before deciding not to buy games like that ever again. Unless you’re a moron, and there are plenty of them around on consoles.

    Regardless, there are now numerous independent and indie games, which may eventually take over the PC sector if the mainstream companies don’t stop pushing out soulless garbage.
    PC gamers don’t want Diet Coke, they want vodka laced with acid, and if the big guys don’t sell it, then they’ll buy it from whomever is willing to get it to them.

      • Voldenuit
      • 9 years ago

      Can I have some vodka laced with acid with some LSD on the side? 😉

      Definitely agree that there are some great indie games out there. Just picked up The Void on Steam, and man, that is one hell of a mind-trip. Digital distribution is definitely a great boon to these small developers (also seriously hooked on King’s Bounty: Armored Princess atm, which though very conventional, is also /[

    • Farting Bob
    • 9 years ago

    Yea im sure 33% of the country plays farmville and other flash games. But go into any game shop or any gaming website and you’ll see just how little limelight PC games that arent called The Sims or World of Warcraft get.

    • bdwilcox
    • 9 years ago

    Primarily PC for me. I got a PS3 for Blu-Ray playback and have subsequently bought a handful of games for it, but only those that aren’t on PC as well. My PS3 came with Batman: Arkham Asylum and I sold it and bought the PC version. Console controls, for the most part, suck (most especially for FPS games) and I only bother with them if I HAVE to. Actually, the PS3 controller has made me appreciate the PC’s controller flexibility that much more. I’ve also found it interesting that there’s only about seven or eight no-PC-version-available titles for the PS3 that I’ve actually found worthy to play. On the other hand, I have a huge stack of shame for the PC which, I swear, I’ll get around to playing.

    • Dashak
    • 9 years ago

    PC games for me; don’t even have to drive to the store anymore. Also, Steam always seems to have some kind of sale going on… so I never pay full price.

      • no51
      • 9 years ago

      Yeah, with steam you either pay sale price or ridiculous sale ‘that might as well be free’ price. Case in point, my sister bought Torchlight on sale for $10 last week, only to find out that they placed it on sale for $5 today.

    • ssidbroadcast
    • 9 years ago

    I’d wager a king’s ransom that it’s the number 1 gaming platform in South Korea, as well.

    • NeXus 6
    • 9 years ago

    Games on the PC might not be dead, but the platform is dead IF you consider that only a handful of game devs do PC only games. Add in the draconian DRM, dumbed down gameplay, and consolitis and you can easily declare PC gaming (as we once knew it) dead.

      • wira020
      • 9 years ago

      How is that dead?

        • NeXus 6
        • 9 years ago

        Remember PC game exclusives? Ask yourself how many have been released in the past 3-4 years compared to the amount that were released 5-10 years ago. Then ask yourself if the overall PC gaming platform is doing well as far as sales go. Piracy may be rampant, but look at the console game sales numbers. Without any piracy it would still look bad for the PC.

        Is there much innovation going on today as there was when PC games were at their peak? DX10 came and went with little to show, and DX11 looks to be another dud until nexgen consoles come out. So, tell me why I need a DX11 video card again?

        Game devs seem reluctant to go back to the PC as an exclusive platform, which says to me that it’s not viable anymore.

          • swaaye
          • 9 years ago

          The PC and the consoles are essentially one platform now. That’s what’s different today. Neither is loaded down with exclusives anymore. Would you develop your game for only one platform at this point? I wouldn’t.

            • NeXus 6
            • 9 years ago

            True, but the PC platform is stagnant because of this. For PC gamers there’s little reason to get excited over newer hardware because what they have now is good enough.

            • entropy13
            • 9 years ago

            Blizzard did. And still doing so.

          • heinsj24
          • 9 years ago

          An exactly how many PS3 or XBox exclusives are there? Wii is a different story altogether.

          PC exclusives that I am playing include Witcher and the Stalker series. The MMO market remains PC exclusive. And let’s just try playing an RTS on a console.

          It makes sense for a game designer to target more than one audience; it leads to a larger market. That said – GSC (Stalker) seems to be doing quite well catering to the PC crowd – they announced they have inked deals for Stalker merchandise (yeah – real Stalker energy drink).

          Too be honest the only game I feel I am missing out on is Fable 2. Oh well, I guess Microsoft will not be getting any of my money for that title.

    • Sargent Duck
    • 9 years ago

    It is pretty hazy. I only have one “mainstream” system, my PC. I wouldn’t consider my DS in there as I’m only going to play that when I don’t have access to my PC (traveling, school, family on PC…). So yes, I’m 100% a PC gamer in the “traditional” market, but I also have a console in the “non-traditional” (mobile) market.

    That being said, I’ve just completed Plants vs. zombies after logging more than 20+ hours playing that annoningly addictive game. I’ve also found myself leaving the traditional FPS games in favor of more varied gameplay (crayon physics deluxe, plants vs. zombies, ect…)

    • jdaven
    • 9 years ago

    I hate these kinds of studies because they ignore the fact that not everyone just games on one time of system. I play games on my Wii, PS2 and PC.

    How many here only play games on one type of system and nothing else? This includes handhelds. My guess would be NO ONE.

      • rpsgc
      • 9 years ago

      Me. I only play on my PC. I guess I’m a “no one” then.

        • jdaven
        • 9 years ago

        Have you ever owned a console, hand-held or other gaming device like a cell phone? These studies don’t have to be frozen in time. Whether you have owned multiple gaming devices or will own multiple gaming devices that you are waiting for in the future, you can be counted. 🙂

        Now don’t you feel better.

        • wira020
        • 9 years ago

        Hye there NO ONE, i’m also the same… I only have PC since my parent wont let me buy anything else that isnt useful for college… no hand held also cause of money constraint… i do have emulator tho, does that count?

      • Meadows
      • 9 years ago

      Since when are your guesses right?

        • jdaven
        • 9 years ago

        Since when are your posts EVER relevant or not insulting the poster?

          • 5150
          • 9 years ago

          Cripple fight!

          • Meadows
          • 9 years ago

          All the time. You basically raised the supposition that people who play exclusively on a PC (whether it’s portable or a desktop, whether it’s Windows or Mac) are basically nonexistent.

          I challenge this supposition by bringing the fact of my existence to your attention. And as far as I’m noticing, this isn’t the only objection to your post either.

            • jdaven
            • 9 years ago

            Touche!!!

            • lilbuddhaman
            • 9 years ago

            His suspicions are valid. The results of this survey are completely skewed by the fact that MOST people that play games have more than one medium to do so on.

            It would be more accurate to say that little-to-no gamers that play on consoles/handhelds exclusively play on those, and they no doubt have a PC and no doubt play SOMETHING on it, even if occasionally. ( be it solitaire, farmville, The sims, WoW, whatever ).

            Of course the PC is the most popular … its a “staple” of modern society. (note, my opinions are skewed due to: being American, not being poor, and being white male who is enslaved to modern technology )

            p.s. if you read this site, you’re also likely enslaved to modern technology.

      • DemonClaw
      • 9 years ago

      I’ve been PC only player for years ‘n proud of it so guess i’m also NO ONE

      • gecko575
      • 9 years ago

      +1 PC only gamer

      • swaaye
      • 9 years ago

      I can’t imagine being into only one platform.

      It’s not that I play a ton of games, but to have missed all of the console games or all of the PC games? How can a gamer do that to himself?

      However, I think it’s easy enough to ignore 360 and PS3 if you have a PC because almost everything is multiplatform now.

      • heinsj24
      • 9 years ago

      My Wii is gathering dust. My PS3 is only used for the few BR titles I own. When I want to game I go to my PC… I am a PC gamer.

      • A_Pickle
      • 9 years ago

      Yeah, man… I play mostly on my PC. The last console I owned was an N64, and that’s no longer in my house. It’s at my parents house, collecting dust. I just built a new PC with which to play games, and man, I’ve been playing them at an appreciably productive rate now that I can crank them to the native resolution of my monitor and still get a solidly playable 60 FPS.

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 9 years ago

    Yeah, well I’m a PC gamer and that is all that matters to me. ^_^

      • jdaven
      • 9 years ago

      Unless PC game developers stop making PC games and only console games because of their popularity. Then I think it will matter a little more to you.

        • xtalentx
        • 9 years ago

        That will never – ever – happen.

        • willyolio
        • 9 years ago

        that won’t happen unless game consoles manage to oust PCs as /[

        • wira020
        • 9 years ago

        Nooo!!!!

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