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Millions To Shift From PC To Console Gaming By 2022, Says Research

(Image credit: Sony)

In a new report, the Jon Peddie Research (JPR) firm estimated that a total of 20 million PC gamers would switch to console gaming or other gaming systems that require a TV by 2022. A slowdown of Moore’s Law and high GPU prices may convince more PC gamers to switch to a next-generation console or even a game streaming service that may require nothing else but a smart TV and a good enough internet connection.

Moore’s Law Slows To A Crawl

A slowdown in Moore’s Law means that you can’t expect to see major increases in PC gaming performance from one year to the next anymore. That means that the consoles’ advantage of being simpler and more convenient to use as a gaming machine will become more significant against PCs.

The main advantages PC gaming rigs have had over consoles have been that, for one, they could have superior specifications, and two, they can be upgraded 2-3 years later for a significant improvement in graphics quality. However, if none of that holds true anymore, it could put consoles on a more equal footing in terms of gaming performance.

Consoles, on the other hand, have had the advantage of being hassle-free gaming machines where you just press a button and start playing.

High GPU Prices Could Negatively Affect PC Gaming

PC gamers haven’t been very fortunate over the past couple of years. Up until early last year, the main issue was that higher-end GPUs either were much more expensive compared to their launch prices or couldn’t even be found in retail stores. The blame for this fell on cryptocurrency miners who were purchasing every unit and were willing to pay a premium for them, too.

However, even after the cryptocurrency valuations dropped and the mining business wasn’t as profitable anymore, gamers faced another issue: Nvidia has been selling its GPUs at higher prices than what most gamers were expecting, partly because AMD has fallen behind in the GPU market. A lack of competition has led to less affordable high-end gaming rigs for PC gamers.

If this situation doesn’t change soon, consoles, whether or not we’re talking about the next-gen ones or the current gen ones with lower prices, could become even more appealing to PC gamers.

Game Streaming On Smart TVs

A new form of “console gaming” may also start to take shape into the 2020s -- game streaming on smart TVs, which could be seen as a sort of “cloud console,” in the future. Gamers may no longer need to buy expensive gaming rigs or even high-end next-generation consoles if they can play games at a similar quality with just their TV and a dedicated controller.

For instance, Google recently announced that its Stadia systems would have some rather impressive specifications, worthy of a next-gen console. The main difference will be that you won't own it, and you may have to pay a monthly subscription to play your favorite games (some PlayStation and Xbox gamers may already pay for a monthly subscription, albeit for access to a different set of features).

Chances are that most of those who will make the switch from PC gaming to console/cloud gaming will be people who weren’t into building high-end gaming rigs in the first place, and they may see the switch as an “upgrade” to whatever gaming setup they had before.

Lucian Armasu is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He covers software news and the issues surrounding privacy and security.