Jon Peddie Research estimates 2011 expenditures on PC gaming hardware are set to jump to over $22 billion globally, with a 27% gain in 2011 across the three segmentations of the market; Mainstream, Performance, and
The unusual spike in PC hardware growth is due to various influences, says
Ted Pollak, Senior Gaming Analyst for Jon Peddie Research (JPR): Pollak
notes the natural cycle of PC hardware purchases from historical
inflection points, system demands of modern FPS (first person shooters)
and RTS (real-time strategy) titles, cheaper high resolution displays,
SSDs (solid state drives), and the convenience of digital distribution
services like Steam and Direct2Drive. But Pollak also attributes growth to
newly converted PC gamers tiring of the limitations of aging console
platforms, the widely applauded advancements in Direct X 11, and the
increasing appetite of PC gamers for high quality speaker systems,
headsets, mice, cases, cooling, and other accessories and customizations.
JPR identifies a very strong growth trend for systems, accessories, and
upgrades in Asia. China is approaching $2.7 billion in expenditures, as
gaming continues to grow in popularity and internet cafe's upgrade
machines to run newer titles. Russia is also forecasted to make
significant increases in PC Gaming hardware expenditures, showing notable
growth in the most expensive Enthusiast class and an amazing 22% CAGR in
the Mainstream sector out to 2014. The profile of the typical gamer has
changed. Most gamers are technology enthusiasts equipped with the best
cameras, several computers, new games, handheld consoles, and often, a new
phone every year. In addition to games they are often photo and video
enthusiasts who place extreme demands on their systems.
Jon Peddie, President of JPR, notes that interest in 3D capable machines
and displays is growing and there is rising demand from PC gamers for
monitors with higher resolution and better color capabilities.
Traditionally used by graphic designers, "wide gamut" displays are capable
of showing more of the color spectrum, often making games look better.
Peddie also notes that Enthusiast PC gamers are showing interest in
displays that exceed 1080p (the maximum resolution that HDTV and game
consoles are capable of utilizing).
Mainstream Sector is Significant
The report also highlights the multi-billion dollar market opportunity for
semiconductor companies and system integrators who market the game
capabilities of sub $1000 PC systems. Jon Peddie Research has identified
significant interest in the game capabilities of even the lowest level
systems in the $500 range, as games offered through social networks and
casual game sites claim more interest from consumers. This is of
particular importance in Intel and AMD?s race to provide the best graphics
processing with their integrated chips that include the capabilities of
both CPUs and GPUs.