According to a report by the NPD Group, the PC gaming hardware and accessories market skyrocketed during 2021, in no small part due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This has allowed the PC hardware and accessories industry to reach a stellar $5.74 billion dollars in value for the whole year.
Most of the revenue was generated by desktop computers, laptops, and PC microphones, increasing by 38%, 29%, and 25%, respectively, during 2021. Pure sales volume growth was driven by PC microphones, monitors, and laptops by up to 27%, 17, and 16%, respectively.
Overall, this gives the industry a 25% gain in revenue in 2021 over 2020. While impressive, this was down from 2020's uncharacteristic gain of 62% in revenue compared to 2019. The changes in the market make a lot of sense in light of the pandemic, along with requirements to work and play from home. More people now than ever before are using computers for entertainment, hanging out socially, and work.
PC gaming also saw significant gains in 2021, with digital PC content bumping up an additional 5% in revenue last year for a total of $7.9 billion. This was also assisted by increased average playtime of PC gamers, which was recorded at 7.7 hours per week, a 1-hour increase over 2020.
However, due to both 2020 and 2021's rapid growth in the PC market space, NPD predicts 2022 will be the first year we'll see a decline in sales and revenue (by around 4%). Of course, this won't solve any shortages, but we're at the beginning of a new road that we hope leads to normalized supply and demand.