Report: PC gaming hardware market expands to an all-time high

Remember how we used to hear all the time about PC gaming dying? It's been a while since we've heard that sort of chatter, and for good reason. In case you haven't had a look around lately, PC gaming is thriving. According to a report from analyst firm Jon Peddie Research, the PC gaming hardware market broke $30 billion worldwide for the first time ever in 2016.

JPR looked where the growth is occuring and what types of hardware people are buying the most. The Asia-Pacific region saw the most growth overall, while Western European and North American growth focused on high-end hardware. JPR attributes the increased growth in the Asia-Pacific region to a lack of traction by gaming consoles and "an entrenced PC gaming culture."

High-end gaming hardware brought in the bulk of the profits, pulling in over $13 billion in 2016, while mid-range hardware accounted for $10.6 billion. While entry-level hardware is not a minor market at $6.7 billion, it's clear that demand for the best hardware is high, and JPR says that "the western appetite for PC gaming systems costing thousands of dollars is strong."

JPR notes that more and more of our daily computing needs are being taken care of by our phones, and says that as those needs are met, "the PC is ultimately becoming a power user's tool." More and more PC purchases are thus made with gaming in mind.

JPR also offered some thoughts about the draw of PC gaming to explain its faster-than-expected growth. Analyst Ted Pollak offered up reasons like the quality of the gaming experience offered by high-definition and ultra-high-definition monitors, as well as the often-superior controls thanks to mice and keyboards. Additionally, PC gaming's wide variety of hardware options offer more room for expression and customization than ever before. That's hardly new info for PC gamers, but to the companies that read these reports to decide where to focus their money, this data plays a crucial part in guidance.

We think it may be a while before we see any more of those think-pieces on the death-and-doom of PC gaming.

Comments closed
    • NeelyCam
    • 3 years ago

    This is only because self-proclaimed master race wastes money on overpriced equipment.

    [url<]http://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/pc-gaming-hardware-sales-growing-breaks-record/[/url<] [quote<]"One thing JPR discovered was that the PC gaming population is growing in the high-end and midrange markets where the average selling price is rather high."[/quote<] Cost-and-otherwise effective gaming has always been in consoles. And it's more fun playing with friends IN THE SAME ROOM. Just Sunday, my roommate and played a bit of Borderlands 2 on PS4. Looks a lot better than PS3, lol. And it was fun. Console gamers are social, friendly people. PC master race are hiding in basements and cellars because they are afraid of other people. Console gamers have more fun.

      • Krogoth
      • 3 years ago

      Gaming consoles aren’t that cost-effective when you factor in gaming and peripheral costs though. DLCs are much worse on consoles.

      Their main attraction actually has always been *gasp* plug and play, but that’s slowly going away as gaming consoles are becoming dedicated gaming PCs.

      PC gaming is just as about social as console gaming. It is really up to the people in question. In any rate, multiplayer console gaming these days is mostly done online. The days of hot-seating is pretty much regressed to small niches in which Nintendo caters to.

    • blastdoor
    • 3 years ago

    Since I really don’t like consoles, I’m glad to see this.

    But I have to wonder how PC gaming is doing in the alternate universe in which Microsoft didn’t try to kneecap it in favor of the Xbox.

    I also wonder how Mac gaming is doing in the universe where Apple actually gave a damn.

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 3 years ago

    I think the success of the moba is driving this hardware adoption.

    JUST KIDDING!

    • Voldenuit
    • 3 years ago

    The obivous answer for the uptick in gaming hardware sales is that after 3 years on 28 nm, GPU users are finally getting modern processes, so there was:

    a. A price drop on 28nm parts
    b. A jump in performance/watt on current parts

    Both of which were probably contributory to the market growth. With Vega coming out this year, we may see a price war on current gen parts, so the situation could sustain itself for the next year.

    • Froz
    • 3 years ago

    Any idea how they define the different segments? I searched on their site, but the definitions appear to be after paywall (and it’s 7500 $ to get just 1/3 of the full report, so no, thanks).

      • Meadows
      • 3 years ago

      Makes Charlie Demerjian’s $1000 pricing strategy seem like a bargain.

    • Krogoth
    • 3 years ago

    It is all from the other markets.

    PC gaming market has been fairly stagnant in USA/Canada/Western Europe. High-end market hasn’t really grow either it is going back to the early 1990 days and 1980s where spending ~10K on a *high-end platform* was the norm.

    The real killer is going to be smartphones and ultra-portables. They are going end-up being the dark horse in the next decade.

      • Ninjitsu
      • 3 years ago

      Honestly if the dollar was what it was back in 2011-2012, east would have seen much higher growth. In India for example, there’s a 30% luxury tax as it is, and then the Rupee fell by 50% vs USD.

      It’s really hard to justify upgrades, especially GPUs.

      • mesyn191
      • 3 years ago

      Uh smartphone sales have been flat to barely growing for a while now and ultra portables are a joke.

      [url<]http://www.androidauthority.com/state-of-the-smartphone-industry-q1-2016-713340/[/url<] This isn't a recent thing either, its been going on since late 2012 and main stream media outlets like CNN have been talking about it since at 2014. [url<]http://money.cnn.com/2014/03/19/technology/mobile/wearable-devices/index.html[/url<] The reality is a highly portable form factor imposes certain limitations on the hardware that are too steep to overcome and still produce a affordable and high quality experience for pretty much anything. That and fab scaling is no longer going to really be happening much means that situation won't change, it'll only get worse as time goes on.

        • Topinio
        • 3 years ago

        iPhone revenue is not flat and last I looked was >$150B a year.

          • tipoo
          • 3 years ago

          This looks like clear flattening to me. High, and remains high, but not the growing revenue it was before.

          [url<]https://www.statista.com/statistics/263402/apples-iphone-revenue-since-3rd-quarter-2007/[/url<]

      • DoomGuy64
      • 3 years ago

      Touchscreens make terrible controllers.

      • tipoo
      • 3 years ago

      Smartphones have a lot of performance inside them, the iPhone 7 for instance is no doubt more powerful than a 360 or PS3 in most ways. The problem has been using that power for games with more depth. Touchscreen controls are a big hamper for this, storage may be another one, and of course battery life, no one wants a dead phone in 2.5 hours of gameplay.

      I’m not sure they’ll take more of the market in the next 10 years, I think we’re reaching peak smartphone where most people have a good enough phone until it breaks.

        • Krogoth
        • 3 years ago

        It is the demographic shift that is going on right now. The younger generations are opting for ultraportables as their primary gaming platform.

    • Solean
    • 3 years ago

    PC masta’ race!!

    • ronch
    • 3 years ago

    LIES!!! The PC is dead and has been dead for a long time!!!

      • just brew it!
      • 3 years ago

      “I’m not dead yet!”

        • K-L-Waster
        • 3 years ago

        But do you feel happy?

    • Ninjitsu
    • 3 years ago

    Japan has pretty entrenched PS culture.

    In fact I’d argue that it’s pretty mixed in Asia from what i’ve seen, i suppose DOTA, CS, GTA are being played by more people now 😀

    • Stochastic
    • 3 years ago

    I wonder if this growth is uniform across different age groups. One thing that concerns me is whether new generations are growing up playing PC games. If not then in the long run the market really is doomed. I know Minecraft was uber popular amongst youngsters a few years back (and perhaps still is?), but are kids still using traditional PCs as gaming platforms or are they all gaming on mobile devices instead?

    Most of us TR readers grew up in a world where the PC was the primary computing device. When you spend your youth using mice, keyboards, and desktop OS’s, it’s easy to transition to PC gaming. On the other hand, a kid who grows up using touchscreen mobile devices primarily may never make the jump to PC games.

      • brucethemoose
      • 3 years ago

      I’m pretty young, and when I was growing up, everyone I knew gamed on a console. Gameboys, N64, PS2, Xbox 360 and so on. There were a few people that played WoW and Runescape on laptops, but that’s the only instance of major PC gaming (aka not flash games) I can think of.

      But in the same school, the kids I see today aren’t as involved in the console world anymore. Not sure whether mobile or PCs ate into most of that, but nevertheless I know it came at the consoles’ expense.

        • Stochastic
        • 3 years ago

        Yeah, it was the same for me (I’m in my mid-20s). But as niche as PC gaming was back then, it was still large enough that there were a lot of high-quality, PC exclusives that really took advantage of the unique capabilities of the platform. The 360/PS3 generation saw the “consolification” of games. Lately, we’ve seen the PC better supported, no doubt thanks to the fact that the PS4/XBO are basically PCs themselves which makes porting easier than it has been traditionally. Hopefully that trend continues for a long time to come.

      • Ninjitsu
      • 3 years ago

      Depends, I got into PC gaming because of dad, so if we keep it up then our kids will too (assuming some revolutionary new tech doesn’t take over…it hasn’t in my 20 years of PC gaming).

    • flip-mode
    • 3 years ago

    Come on guys, get over it. I mean, it’s been a long long time since anyone said that. PCmasterrace is still butthurt over a few articles written back when the Xbox 360 launched and Microsoft tried to ignore the PC as a gaming platform. Nobody says it anymore but PCmasterrace dudes that are still somehow victimized by it. I’m prepared for the downvotes.

      • Ninjitsu
      • 3 years ago

      “PC is dead” has been plastered all over the media for at least 6 years now. Rumours say it’s been like this for over 10 years.

      Of course we’re going to poke fun at it.

        • flip-mode
        • 3 years ago

        “PC is dead” is a little different than “PC gaming is dead”. Other than gaming the PC is definitely in decline. Gaming is the one bright spot.

      • CScottG
      • 3 years ago

      Not True.

      Wall Street Analysts are constantly saying that.

      It’s because these people are focused on pre-built PC sales.

      Ex.

      [url<]http://www.barrons.com/articles/rumors-of-the-pcs-death-are-not-at-all-exaggerated-1457759963[/url<] Then these analysts start looking at Intel's CPU sales and see the declining numbers as a correlation, never-mind the fact that CPU development has been utterly unimpressive for quite sometime now.

        • flip-mode
        • 3 years ago

        That article is not about PC gaming’s death.

          • CScottG
          • 3 years ago

          Yes, but PC gaming is “PC” – and most of PC’s (gaming or otherwise) reputed “death” is derived from the sentiment in that article (and others like it).

          Moreover, the context is specifically looking at HARDWARE sales.

          We could easily say that PC gaming is on a substantial “rise” IF we were just looking at software sales (of games), but that isn’t at all where the sentiment of the PC’s “death” is derived from.

        • travbrad
        • 3 years ago

        Yep and even if there were big gains in CPU performance not many people would notice apart from gamers or a few other niche-case power users. Even in the case of games a faster GPU will often make more of a difference anyway, and for regular use a SSD will transform the responsiveness on a system in a way no CPU possibly could.

        There just aren’t any good reasons for most people to buy a new PC anymore until their current one has some sort of major hardware failure, so while PC sales have slowed down that doesn’t actually mean people have stopped using PCs. Smartphone sales are slowing down now too, but that doesn’t mean people have stopped using them either. It turns out tech industries with a limited pool of potential consumers can’t keep growing forever. Who would have thought?

          • tacitust
          • 3 years ago

          I find it hard to believe that PCs are being used anywhere near as often as they used to be, now that people are wedded to their smartphones — especially millennials and younger. PC use in the office is probably not that far off what it was (though corporate IT depts are certainly not ignoring the smartphone revolution), but in the home, as other devices become more integrated in our lives, PCs are gathering dust much more often.

          Thus they don’t wear out as often, they don’t break as often, users don’t complain they’re too slow as often, so they don’t need replacing as often, therefore we get the big declines in sales we’ve seen over the last decade or so as mobile has taken off.

          PC Gaming hardware sales increases are good news, but they’re not enough to offset the loss in revenue of overall PC hardware sales, and the PC gaming market overall is still growing slower than the mobile gaming market. Just because one segment of the PC market is doing well doesn’t mean that the rest aren’t still in decline.

          The PC isn’t dead, but we’ve already passed peak PC now that mobile is here.

          I suspect the advent of Steam and the ease with which you can download and install games within a few minutes on high-speed broadband has really helped the PC gaming market, not to mention the availability of older (but still great looking) games at a fraction of the full retail price. I had far more PC games in my Steam library than I have played, and I’m sure I’m not the only one here. Services like Steam, GOG, etc. have allowed the PC platform to catch up with the consoles in terms of accessibility of games and ease of use, not to mention the superior graphics capabilities.

            • travbrad
            • 3 years ago

            I agree the average person isn’t using their PC as often as they used to for personal use, since phones and tablets have supplanted a lot of the things people used to use a PC for, especially the casual consumption/entertainment stuff that doesn’t need a keyboard. The fact so many people have their phone on them at all times makes it a lot more convenient if you just need to quick check something.

            A lot of people are still using PCs though, especially laptops. Their use definitely leans more towards doing work/school related stuff at home or on the go now though, rather than entertainment purposes. Stuff that is just a major hassle to do on a phone because of the lack of keyboard input or small screen. Tablets can address the small screen problem to some degree, but phone + laptop seems to be a lot more common for people to have than phone + tablet still.

            It’s also probably worth considering a lot of people have shared family PCs, so a family of 4 might only have 1 or 2 PCs (that they don’t replace very often) whereas that same family could have 4 phones that they replace more often, hence the mobile sales being a lot stronger than PC sales. I’m not saying people use PCs more than smartphones, just that they use PCs more than the sales figures would probably indicate. I agree we are past “peak PC” though, and we are probably at “peak mobile” already too (at least in developed nations).

            I agree Steam definitely has helped PC gaming a great deal too. Between the ease of use and prices on older games it’s a lot easier to get into PC gaming now. The whole PC gaming experience is just so much smoother than it used to be. You don’t have to go manually download patches (and apply them in the right order/language) anymore, don’t have to mess with .ini/.cfg files, there are far less graphics driver issues, etc. A lot of people complain about the bad game launches on PC nowadays, but they must not have been around for the rest of PC gaming’s history if they think it’s bad now.

      • Meadows
      • 3 years ago

      Don’t worry, PC gaming will die again, but first you need a new console release for that headline.

      • TwistedKestrel
      • 3 years ago

      Hi there, I think you may have landed on the wrong website. Did you want [url=https://www.reddit.com<]this one[/url<]?

    • oldog
    • 3 years ago

    Has anyone tried modding an MS Surface Studio yet. Could be cool.

    • PrincipalSkinner
    • 3 years ago

    That’s because PC gaming is dying. We all know that all things on death bed suddenly spring to life before they kick the bucket.

    • Voldenuit
    • 3 years ago

    Face it. We all know the success of PC Gaming is because of the invention of the RGB LED.

      • Preyfar
      • 3 years ago

      “Graphics don’t matter, only gameplay!” but the games that sell the most are almost always the shiniest and prettiest. Gamers are by and large attracted to shiny things, like otters and ferrets.

        • Voldenuit
        • 3 years ago

        Well, Stardew Valley was one of Steam’s most successful games last year, and it had very primitive graphics.

        Incidentally, No Man’s Sky was also a Steam best-seller, and it had lousy graphics *and* lousy gameplay, so I don’t know anything anymore.

          • Laykun
          • 3 years ago

          Graphics and Gameplay don’t matter, only Hype!

          • cygnus1
          • 3 years ago

          [quote<] No Man's Sky... had lousy graphics *and* lousy gameplay... [/quote<] Quoted for truth...

          • travbrad
          • 3 years ago

          Also the 2 most popular games on Steam are Dota 2 and CS:GO neither of which have particlarly amazing graphics. The most popular non-steam games are probably World of Warcraft, League of Legends, and Overwatch. None of those have great graphics either.

          You definitely don’t need stunning graphics to have a popular game. In fact if the graphics are too good you are probably excluding potential players who don’t have to the hardware to run it. I personally don’t think any of those games are anything special gameplay wise but obviously I am vastly outnumbered by people who love them.

          • the
          • 3 years ago

          Yeah but which one of those two lead the number of refunds on Steam?

          Word of mouth is what made Stardew Valley sales where as hype is what sold No Man’s Sky. Word of of mouth is how No Man’s Sky refundable nature spread..

            • Voldenuit
            • 3 years ago

            I missed the refund window on NMS because I was travelling internationally -_-.

            Steam stats were saying ~$48M sales for it on Steam for 2016, not sure if that included refunds.

            I’m never buying any games from Sean Murray again, that’s for sure.

        • RickyTick
        • 3 years ago

        And gerbils.

        • ImSpartacus
        • 3 years ago

        It’s true. I’m basically a ferret.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 3 years ago

      Not a coincidence!

      • Krogoth
      • 3 years ago

      They just need to make the power glove 2.0! Build with RGB LEDs

      [url<]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZErvASwdlU[/url<]

        • Growler
        • 3 years ago

        That would be so bad!

      • just brew it!
      • 3 years ago

      RGB lasers fired directly into your retina or bust!

    • CScottG
    • 3 years ago

    Yup. Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics..

    The PC “market” which is composed of factory assembled (non-mobile) “desktop” systems is totally declining. The classic: “Dude, you’re getting a Dell” – market. BUT

    -there is a lot of growth elsewhere (..including *resulting* gaming desktop systems).

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