The overall demand for PC hardware may be in decline but the market for gaming specific hardware is actually doing quite well, according to a new Jon Peddie Research report (via MCV ). The firm pegged the total worldwide market value of PC gaming hardware at more than $21.5 billion, and predicted that it will grow significantly over the next three years.
What exactly the PC and console markets entail within the context of the JPR report isn't made clear, although on the PC side of the coin it includes "computers, upgrades and peripherals used for gaming." What is clear is that the arrival of the next generation of game consoles hasn't had much of an impact on the momentum of the PC, nor is it likely to in the future—not because the demand for home computers is growing—it's not—but because dedicated PC gamers are pouring more and more money into their rigs.
"We continue to see a shift in casual console customers moving to mobile," JPR Senior Analyst Ted Pollak said. "While this is also occurring in the lower-end PC gaming world, more money is being directed to mid- and high-range builds and upgrades by gamers."
He described "committed PC gamers" as power users who aren't interested in "pure content consumption platforms," which I'm assuming is a fancy way of saying "game consoles." Instead, they pay big bucks for hardware that will let them play at very high settings as well as perform other tasks, like video editing, content creation and arguing on internet forums, "with maximum horsepower at their disposal in a desktop ergonomic environment."
The report predicts that the PC gaming market will grow to to more than $23 billion by 2017, driven by the availability of increasingly powerful hardware that allows PCs to do things that consoles cannot. JPR President Jon Peddie noted that 4K gaming is already a reality for "highest-end" systems and said that even mass-market machines can now push 2560x1440 resolution, well beyond the 1080p resolution (1920x1080) offered by the latest consoles.