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PC-Gaming Hardware Worth $20 Billion

By - Source: Tom's Hardware | B 25 comments

If PC gaming is dying, as many have claimed, why are gaming-oriented PCs selling so well? Market analyst Jon Peddie estimates that the market for PC gaming hardware stands at $20 billion today—and predicts it will expand to $34 billion by 2012.

Peddie, principal of the market-research and consulting firm Jon Peddie Research, estimates that hardware sales pull in an additional $6 billion in sales of software and related services annually. “Retail software figures are not an accurate barometer for the health of the PC gaming industry,” said report co-author Ted Pollak. “The retail numbers don’t capture the casual and digitally distributed games, either.”

PC Gamers, on the other hand, don’t buy all that many games, according to Pollak. “Enthusiast PC gamers often latch onto one or two games that offer multiplayer options and stick to these titles for years,” he said. “Hardware is where they spend the big bucks.”

It will come as no surprise to this audience that in addition to the market for fully assembled PCs, Peddie “discovered a robust market of do-it-yourselfers and consumers who upgrade their PCs with high-performance gaming graphics boards.” Obviously Tom’s Hardware knew about this "discovered market" years ago.

Peddie forecasts the highest worldwide compound annual growth rate—21 percent—for “mainstream” gaming PCs, but he expects the “performance” segment to grow at only a slight slower pace (19 percent) and the “enthusiast” segment, where prices are highest, to grow at a healthy nine percent.

The report also predicts that the ongoing economic recession could stymie the growth of the console gaming market because consumers might be reluctant to invest in the HDTVs needed to deliver the best gaming experience with those systems. Personal computers, Peddie surmises, are useful for a much broader range of applications than televisions and gaming consoles.

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  • 7 Hide
    cmmcnamara , November 18, 2008 10:48 PM
    This article is very true. I myself spend most of my computer related money on hardware upgrades. Hardware-wise I spent over $1000 on my old AGP system, upgrading processors, swapping dead motherboards, bigger hard drives, and went through 4 graphics cards (MX 3200, FX 5200, 9650 Pro, 7600 GS) before finally jumping the gun early this year to my Core 2 Duo platform (yay for a well paying job) and I will probably build a Core i7 system within the next couple months and I am definitely building a "fragbox" AMD based system.

    After all that hardware, I have spent very little on software in comparison. I bought XP Pro 32 and 64 bit in an OEM pack for 80 bucks which lasted me years until I built my new system which had the motherboard and CPU bundled with Vista. And for games its true about the latching on. Since I was in middle school I've been playing Counter-Strike and Day of Defeat and the new Source games. Every once and a while I'll buy another game like Battlefield 2 or Call of Duty 4 but I mostly center around Valve's games and play them for years.
  • 7 Hide
    smalltime0 , November 18, 2008 11:04 PM
    I think one of the things ablut a PC which is so attractive is that you can keep it into another generation of gaming... If a few years ago you shelled out for a fast single core, a few GB of RAM and a half decent graphics card (on the PCI bus) you could potentially still be playing games on it (albiet with low graphics), at the time you would have been in the original Xbox generation.

    There is also the ease in buying new parts after warranty expires, upgrading HDD capacity (more of a concern with PS3 and an optional concern with the new Xbox 360 thing).
  • 5 Hide
    the associate , November 18, 2008 11:05 PM
    I concur with cmmcnamara. I to spend most of my cash on hardware upgrades. The part in the article about people sticking to multiplayer games for years is correct in my opinion for the most part. I still have a load of friends who play BF2 (only because EA didn't release Bad Company for the pc) and cs source. I still play these games to, however, I buy at least 4 pc games per year, this year I bought the Witcher, X3 Reunion 2.0, Supreme Commander and FarCry 2 for the pc, and intend to buy GTA4 and Fallout 3 for the pc as well, at the very least anyways ;) .

    As long as the games are good, pc gamers will buy them. But since we spend so much money on our machines, and since, quote "Peddie “discovered a robust market of do-it-yourselfers and consumers who upgrade their PCs with high-performance gaming graphics boards.”" we are therefore theoretically more tech savy than most casual to enthusiast console gamers, and we check our games before we drop the cash on em. So you won't see nearly as many of a stupid game sell on a pc as they do on consoles, the Nintendo Wii is a perfect example of crap games that sell big, i'm not insulting the Wii in any way here btw. And besides, one of the ironic reasons the pc gaming market is going down is strickly because idiot gaming companies like EA are stoping to release games for the pc and putting ridiculous constraints for instalations on them, their lattest drm being 3 activations, with a new activation required for every reformat and hardware upgrade, which is dumb, I upgrade hardware and reformat together what, at least 5 times per year :S? (correct me politely if i'm wrong). So no shit sherlock we will have less sales to our name, we get less games, inhuman restrictions and many of them are delayed as well. If I had a ps3 theres no doubt in my mind I would have goten gta4 when it came out, and not bother waiting 8ish months to get it for the pc.
    Ive owned consoles since the super nintendo, and i've never bought as many games as I do for the pc, but if a game like age of empires 3 came out for the Wii and didnt suck, id be all over it :D 
  • 1 Hide
    eklipz330 , November 18, 2008 11:49 PM
    agree'd! spent $2500 on a comp, spent $120 on games... orange box, and fallout ftw!!gtaiv is on my list though... i also came upon this 'discovery', and decided i'll only upgrade my system when it becomes an absolute neccessity to run the games
  • 3 Hide
    Shadow703793 , November 19, 2008 12:10 AM
    Quote:
    idiot gaming companies like EA are stoping to release games for the pc and putting ridiculous constraints for instalations on them, their lattest drm being 3 activations, with a new activation required for every reformat and hardware upgrade, which is dumb, I upgrade hardware and reformat together what, at least 5 times per year

    Very true! +1. DRM is killing the PC gaming, not the economy.
  • 2 Hide
    radguy , November 19, 2008 1:24 AM
    well I half to say DRM has kept me from buying some pc games. I made a big mistake when I broke with farcry 2 but its very true that I spend more on hardware than on games. What I love about pc gaming is usually how cheap you can find the games the past year I paid
    Crysis $50
    far cry $13
    time shift $12
    GRAW2 $25
    portal $20
    two worlds $16
    UT3 $20
    Grid $40
    cod2 $20
    supreme comander and supreme comander forged allaiance $8
    Half life episode 2 $10
    Cod4 $47
    Lego indiana jones $30
    Farcry 2 $50
    Conflict denied ops $5
    verse 800-900 on hardware.

    I will say I took a nice little break from computer gaming but its nice to be back and I think more people are joining but again this drm thing really throws in for some problems though.
  • 3 Hide
    cl_spdhax1 , November 19, 2008 1:25 AM
    ..and nvidia is one of the major sponsor for a lot of games, making their own market, for us to buy super expensive hardwares.
  • 6 Hide
    mtyermom , November 19, 2008 1:25 AM
    Pei-chenHow are you going to put an i7 on an AMD based board?



    Somebody please... make it stop.
  • 6 Hide
    nukemaster , November 19, 2008 2:10 AM
    Pei-chenHow are you going to put an i7 on an AMD based board?

    There is a adapter for that, its called a hammer. It looks allot like the toms logo.
  • -1 Hide
    ravenware , November 19, 2008 4:28 AM
    PC gaming is in a slump because of developers abandoning the platform.

    The sales numbers for Crysis, Fallout3, Half-Life2 OrangeBox, WOW and FarCry2 show that their is a viable market in PC game sales with or without piracy.

    Maybe if we see some more decent titles hit the platform that are not the typical FPS, MMORPG, RTS or a half assed console port, the numbers would be more attractive for the development world to embrance the PC and its highly advanced hardware.

    And what about making games that are just fun to play and do not require a beast to operate? Most consumers own a PC of some sort, why not target the mainstream computer user as a gamer? GameTap would be a great vessel to achieve this. Microsoft could acquire the IP from TimeWarner since it is up for grabs, revamp it and merge with the "Games For Windows" project that has seemingly fallen on it's ass.
  • -2 Hide
    Oevre Clocker , November 19, 2008 5:41 AM
    Jon Peddie has asymmetrical trapezius muscles.
  • -3 Hide
    neiroatopelcc , November 19, 2008 5:45 AM
    ravenwarePC gaming is in a slump because of developers abandoning the platform.The sales numbers for Crysis, Fallout3, Half-Life2 OrangeBox, WOW and FarCry2 show that their is a viable market in PC game sales with or without piracy.

    Can't be bothered arguing too much today, but crysis shouldn't be in your list really. Even the producers of it said in an interview that they weren't sure to release the next episode on pc, because the sales were poor (due to piracy in his account, due to heavy system requirements from my point of view).

    In general you're right though, and the article itself is as well to some extend. I believe the price of a good pc is roughly the same it was 10 years ago, the difference is the number of people who buy a pc. In 95 I had a pc (486sx 25mhz, 8mb ram) I shared with my family. Now I have 3 or so (not counting company owned hardware), my parents have 2 + a laptop, even my stupid brother has a pc... that's a lot more hardware than years before. Which probably accounts for why the sales are growing without hardware becomming that much more expensive. More people buy the hardware.
  • 0 Hide
    JAYDEEJOHN , November 19, 2008 10:18 AM
    In slow economic times, people used to go to movies. My thoughts are, PC gaming has changed this whole dynamic, and another reason why hollowwood is doing so many "game" movies, and actually making games today.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , November 19, 2008 12:29 PM
    ubisoft said they are going to use the pc first for all their mutli plats. pc gaming is cutting edge gaming. pc gaming is world wide. there are places in the world where don't use consoles. Chances are are consoles are not going to make the ression. this can cearly been seen in japan right now where consoles are being hit hard.
    http://www.edge-online.com/features/recession-could-sting-mainstream-platforms
    pc gaming will not be affected because of all the free games pc has. Plus I can hunt for a job with my pc.

    I can play any console game I want with emulators

    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/989729/how_to_play_ps2_games_on_pc/

    No console game can beat great pc tittles such as wow, sims,guildwars,linage,daiblo,star craft,half life I could go on.
  • -3 Hide
    enforcer22 , November 19, 2008 1:30 PM
    Anyone whos said pc gaming was are the same retards that believed anything bush said. and dreamhunk you did name 3 good games but sims wow diablo guildwars bad examples of games. we want people to play pc games not run screaming in horror finding out while there are alot of pc games most of them do in fact suck.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , November 19, 2008 4:30 PM
    Couldnt have said it better myself. Pc gaming isn't dying it's just evolving
    I just upgrade the parts every couple years and works out fine fire me.
    I use mine for everything. Blu ray movies documents gaming etc.
    I also have a hdtv and PS3 and game on it as well. But nothing beats my dual core of and 4870 x2 card at
    2560x 1600 res. I only buy a few of games and ps3 games a year as well.
  • 2 Hide
    gm0n3y , November 19, 2008 5:38 PM
    I own a 360 and a PC and I seriously regret buying the 360. I hardly ever play it. There just aren't any decent games out, or they're games that I'd rather play on the PC (eg Oblivion). The only real use that my 360 gets is my GF playing Guitar Hero. I think I've bought maybe 5-6 360 games since I bought it (2 years ago). That being said, I've probably bought less than 10 PC games in the past 2 years (Oblivion, Fallout 3, unfortunately Spore, COD4, COD5, etc).
  • 0 Hide
    neiroatopelcc , November 20, 2008 6:00 AM
    kami3kI love neiroatopelcc , fell for the crap they were saying. 2 million sales is far from poor sales you d.

    I just saw the interview, I don't remember seeing any numbers. While I did hear rumors of 2 mio I remember hearing that those were not confirmed.

    Anyway, I do tend to believe game developers when they claim something, cause while they're nessecarily seeing pirates as enemies, they are still the most reliable source of information about sales and loss of sales. Cause unlike producers they're not trying to defend some drm or distribution choices. They're just there to see their work being bought or stolen. I'm not even sure they at the point knew how much had been sold actually. In any event, 2 mio sold isn't really that much imo for probably the best game I've bought all of 2007
  • -1 Hide
    enforcer22 , November 20, 2008 11:51 AM
    if you ask me the game developer might be a good place to ask about sales but when it comes to why they seem to have thier heads up thier ass. IMO they are why they are lacking real sales the past few years, Thier bad choices lack of inovation in making games and lack of finishing games before they throw them out is exactly why they are having such bad sales. Seriously though most people who pirate things are people that really wouldnt buy it in hte first place. Now as i realise thats not 100% true its pretty high up there.
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