New figures released by the PC Gaming Alliance reveal that far from being on the ropes, PC gaming remains very much alive, with shipping volumes for the platform being twice the size of the combined amounts of all the major consoles last year.
Bigger than Wii, PS3 and XBox added together and doubled
The PCGA report found that annual shipment volumes for the PC Gaming hardware market in 2009 were over two times larger than the combined Wii, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 console units shipped in the same period – and the trend is expected to continue.
Revenues from consumer PCs capable of gaming that shipped with a discrete GPU (excludes Netbooks and integrated graphics-based PCs) registred a colossal $54.6 billion in 2009 and are predicted to grow to $61.3 billion by 2014.
The world’s largest hardware gaming market remains the Asia Pacific region, with an approximate 33% market share followed by Western Europe and the United States at 24% and 22% respectively. The rest of the world follows with 21.5%.
“One of the biggest trends I’m seeing in the 2009 Horizon’s hardware report indicates a strong demand for more capable mobile based systems by PC Gamers.” commented Matt Ployhar PCGA Research Committee Chairman. “PC Gamers are playing a central role in fuelling healthier margins, and driving innovation in this space worldwide”.
“PC gaming is the highest profile and most mature example of a new era of computing systems based on usage,” said Richard Shim, research manager at IDC covering PCs. “These new usage-based systems are hardware configurations optimized for an improved user experience. Consumers are often willing to pay more for such an experience. In the case of gaming PCs, up to 25% more as compared to a mainstream system.”
If proof were needed about how popular PC gaming still is, the recently released Starcraft II has just broken all records, shifting more than a million copies within the first 24 hours, and selling another 500,000 copies the following day.
The launch was a pretty impressive affair too, with 8,000 stores worldwide offering midnight launches as the game simultaneously launched on five continents.