Analyst: PC Has Surpassed Console in Terms of Revenue

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Analyst: PC Has Surpassed Console in Terms of Revenue

"The big difference is that consoles are now the luxury item and PCs are the necessity. Just a few years ago the reverse was true."

Despite dying every couple of years, PC gaming is still holding strong, providing offerings that are simply impossible for consoles to replicate. Industry analyst DFC Intelligence owner David Cole says that the PC's foothold in the industry is even bigger than that, claiming that revenues for PC games have surpassed that of all the consoles combined. He says the main reason for this is that most console owners also game on PC, but the reverse is not often as true.

"Among core gamers there is a heavy overlap with most console gamers also playing on a PC," Cole told PCR, adding "The big difference is that consoles are now the luxury item and PCs are the necessity. Just a few years ago the reverse was true. This means PCs have the broader audience."

The news comes after DFC published its latest quarterly paid-for report on PC gaming revenues and usage. As for what games are making all that money, well, it should be pretty obvious to most PC gamers. "The MOBA games League of Legends and Dota 2 dominate everything else by an order of magnitude in terms of more usage than other products," said Cole. "In the first part of 2014 we saw some signs that may change with the introduction of new titles and some increased play of games outside the MOBA category."

"We can say that our top 20 list for 2013 had no titles released that year and in Q1 2014 we saw three new titles crack the list: DayZ, Rust and Hearthstone."

Cole said that Europe, with its love of free-to-play games, has been a big driver of PC trends, and that the next-gen console's PC-like architecture means that an increasing amount of triple-A titles from the US will be available on both PC and console.

The findings make sense to me, as most console gamers that I know also own a PC to partake in its many exclusives, particularly League of Legends and Blizzard titles.

Source: PCR Online

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PC gaming has become relatively easy lately and more and more affordable whereas the consoles are doing everything they can to make life hard on people. The hardware investment for PC gaming is a little higher, though the difference has shrunk considerably. However, the price people pay for PC games is often a third of what they pay for console games. The result is that three-hundred dollars spent on PC games in a year is equivalent to nine hundred dollars spent on console games in a year. That more than makes up for the investment in the hardware and after three years, spending the extra to get an updated PC still is a much better investment. Further, PC gaming has become far more stable and easy with plenty of services that allow me to browse games at my leisure and then make a pick and install without any further effort. On top of all that, PC systems have a much bigger library available to them than any single console platform. Backwards compatibility for gaming consoles has died whereas services like gog mean people can play games from the last twenty five years. So in the end, the PC is at least as easy to use, more affordable and often better quality than consoles. The market is speaking.

I would offer an analogy to the whole PC/console war...

PCs are Timelords and Consoles are Daleks. Everytime the Daleks come out with a newer, stronger model, the Timelords regenerate in to something newer, better and stronger.

Which specific report is this referencing? That link only takes me to their how page, not a report. How did they collect the sales data for all games? Most every time I hear about sales figures they don't include digital.

I'm also curious how they break down pc use vs console use and revenue. Like a lot of gamers I have a pc and consoles both. And although I have used my pc for gaming. Its by far the smallest use I put it too. I put a min of 10 times more time and money into console games.

What portion of players own gaming rigs? If you don't own a pc made for gaming, is it really the platform you use the most? And how do the games break down revenue and player wise? I know free to play has a huge audience but how many of them actually pay at all, let alone the amount they would put in to a regular game purchase.

When EVER has a console been a (gaming) necessity!?

marurder:
When EVER has a console been a (gaming) necessity!?

Well there was a period there before Valve came out with Steam when PC was getting ignored the hell out of in favour of console gaming and was really on the ropes for awhile.

So, hopefully this means that console gamers will get shitty PC ports now.

Well I'll simply take their word for it but all of my "gamer" friends play exclusively on console and none of them even own a PC. I'm the only PC gamer in the group.

I also wonder if they take Facebook "games" into account?

CardinalPiggles:
all of my "gamer" friends play exclusively on console and none of them even own a PC.

Unemployed Xbox kids are not the only gamer demographic.

What kind of person does not own even the simplest computer?
Consoles are like chinese knockoffs, sure they might work and be fun but it is still a knockoff

Zipa:

marurder:
When EVER has a console been a (gaming) necessity!?

Well there was a period there before Valve came out with Steam when PC was getting ignored the hell out of in favour of console gaming and was really on the ropes for awhile.

No it wasn't, the games were still being made and sold and there were still just as many players. The issue was advertising for the consoles and the console games was being heavily pushed. Not just the advertising from the publishers but from game reviewers.

Other thoughts not related to the quote and not directed at the quoted person:
As for Moviebob's poor prediction that proved he doesn't know what he is talking about as far as games goes it was just one of many comments about gaming in general where he proves his lack of knowledge. I don't even watch his movie stuff because I do not agree with the vast majority of what he says and often wonder if he really knows anything about movies except to say they suck every chance he can because he knows there wont be fans calling him out.

PC gaming is rather steady and not prone to great ups and downs in market like console gaming. There's no big lows and no big ups. The lows are when the consoles have plenty of titles and are getting new releases and the highes are at the end of one generation and the beginning of the next. This happens every single time new consoles are released. the ups and downs are the console gamers themselves migrating back and forth between the 2 platforms with PC only statistics or not buying new console games for comparison statistics. The core gamers who play on a PC exclusively are not a sine wave statistic. Then tie in the actual number of releases for consoles during these transition periods it gives a solid illusion of increases or decreases in market share when comparing to consoles. If it is just PC gaming then it is a more steady constant increase in the number of players and titles with dips based on the economy and the season it is.

Right now PC gaming market is up compared to console simply because we are in a transition period between 2 console generation and it will probably peak in 2015 when the majority of old consoles are phased out, this years titles are available while waiting for the 2015 Christmas titles to be released. The same thing happened with PS1, PS2, and PS3 generations were released. After Christmas 2015 it will be consoles time to start taking back the market to peak in 2017 Christmas.

If one wants to argue about PC gaming being in decline from when Moviebob made that ludicrous video one has only to look at what was going on with PC sales the forecasts were being made off of. During that time tablets were all the rage and smartphones were flying off the shelves as the next greatest thing since sliced bread PC manufacturesr were actively hurting the desktop PC market by not making as many models as previously and were making far more notebooks and netbooks. They saw sales decline for desktops because people were buying the new toys and PC's last longer than they in the 90's and early 2000's. People did not need to buy a new PC because the software required it like what was in the past and they were interested in getting the new gadgets. So the manufacturers began phasing PC's out because they wrongly thought the market was dying and started pushing portable devices. But that's all changed now because people still need and want a desktop PC and are now buying from local shops that custom build to order or they buy the parts themselves and put one together themselves. This is evident in the sales of aftermarket PC parts having a huge increase over the past 5 years while sales of prebuilt from major manufacturers has declined because the manufacturers are letting those sales slip right past them by still pushing portable.

And yes they are pushing portable, go to any major store that sells prebuilt computers and you will see far more laptops and if you tell the clerk you are looking for a computer you can play games on they will almost always point you at a laptop that costs more than the desktops and runs games worse than last gen consoles. This is simply because they want you to use a portable device so they can sell you another in 6 months or a year because the one they are selling you now has a high risk of getting broken and not covered by a warranty and cannot be upgraded easily or sometimes not at all. This is simple marketing, they want you to buy the device that has the shortest lifetime and that is not the desktop PC.

It sure doesn't help the consoles when each new generation bridges the gap between the two camps. While modern PCs have become more user friendly, easier to plug into a basic TV and controller and gone way down in price, consoles are losing their benefits. They now need updates almost as often as PCs, are losing many exclusives, and have to download patches, maps packs, etc just like PC games. Besides the Wii U, they're also x86-64 just like PCs(including Macs). So there's little incentive for someone with a capable computer to waste money on a new console(read: $500 PC with proprietary OS and a few exclusive games).

Also as the average gamer's age went up so did their knowledge and disposable income. Now he or she can customise their video game experience with mouse and keyboard, flight stick, joypad, controller or combination and mods on a PC. And it's easier to replace parts when they're aren't proprietary hard to find little SOBs. I've had to research and hunt down the correct blu-ray drive for my busted PS3. If my video card, HDD, or a fan went out on my PC, I know what to get and have many options to upgrade.

theres no console race, only PC master race!

nah just kidding, this was actually predicted a few years back by some analysts. besides digital distribution, the indie revolution and F2P games, id say the flexibility of PC gave it an edge over consoles, consoles are and have always been "1 size fits all" affairs, but wih PC, you can have the best graphics if you want, you can have moderate graphics, you can have a shitty PC in which you only play classic and 2D games, you can play with mouse and keyboard, you an play with controllers, you can play at your desk, you can play on your living room, you can play games released now, you can play old games, you can have games with DRM, you can have games without DRM, you can even mod games, its all up to you

anyways now that the truthly superior race has finally earned its rightful place as the leading platform for gaming, time to come up with a... final solution to the... console problem

that was a another joke, just in case

Tiamat666:
So, hopefully this means that console gamers will get shitty PC ports now.

wasnt dark souls II one?

Raziel:
Which specific report is this referencing? That link only takes me to their how page, not a report. How did they collect the sales data for all games? Most every time I hear about sales figures they don't include digital.

I'm also curious how they break down pc use vs console use and revenue. Like a lot of gamers I have a pc and consoles both. And although I have used my pc for gaming. Its by far the smallest use I put it too. I put a min of 10 times more time and money into console games.

What portion of players own gaming rigs? If you don't own a pc made for gaming, is it really the platform you use the most? And how do the games break down revenue and player wise? I know free to play has a huge audience but how many of them actually pay at all, let alone the amount they would put in to a regular game purchase.

i made a thread about the average money spent by players in some of the most popular F2P games

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/9.846989-Study-rounds-up-top-ten-of-average-revenue-per-user-in-F2P-games-WoT-first-LoL-last?

now i have no idea how may untold millions play LoL, but multiply that number by 1.32 and you can get an idea of how much money Riot has made, just last year

NuclearKangaroo:

Tiamat666:
So, hopefully this means that console gamers will get shitty PC ports now.

wasnt dark souls II one?

Sort of? Textures are noticeably cleaner on PC, better cloth physics and some lighting too. But some won't forgive it for not letting them change controller bindings or that a third person action game (from a japanese company at that) is still more developed with a controller in mind than a keyboard and mouse. Keyboard binds are customizable though.

Others are just mad that it doesn't have the dynamic lighting of their alpha build that totally broke the game whenever they tried to implement it into the full game. Even then, the visual end result is almost identically replicated if you turn down gamma and turn up contrast.

Gee, and PCs are the ones where they all say digital piracy is running rampant and costing sales while consoles are very difficult to pirate and will often wreck the console if one tries, and yet PCs are STILL making more money than consoles are.

Maybe, just maybe this indicates that those people that are blaming piracy for everything wrong with the video game industry and using it to justify their blatantly exploitative and useless business practices are talking out of their rear ends, just a slight possibility.

Congratulations to the PC crowd. I'm sure some of the more childish of their group will become annoying with their "Master race" chest thumping when they hear the news, but anything that translates to more gamers enjoying the experience the better.

That said, I hope the industry doesn't take this to mean that MOBAs and MMORPGs should be the next first-person shooter. I am and will always be a single player gamer. Online multiplayer breeds griefing and elitism and I have no desire to be exposed to it. If this ushers in an age when the vast majority of gaming is online-multiplayer centric, it may well mark the end of my decades as a gamer.

immortalfrieza:
Gee, and PCs are the ones where they all say digital piracy is running rampant and costing sales while consoles are very difficult to pirate and will often wreck the console if one tries, and yet PCs are STILL making more money than consoles are.

Maybe, just maybe this indicates that those people that are blaming piracy for everything wrong with the video game industry and using it to justify their blatantly exploitative and useless business practices are talking out of their rear ends, just a slight possibility.

publsihers will always find the most idiotic excuses for their failings "its piracy's fault", "its the used games market's fault", "this is a transition period towards new consoles", etc

only rarely they rightfully put the blame on the man in the mirror, like square enix recently did, now lets see if they actualy fucking learn

balladbird:
Congratulations to the PC crowd. I'm sure some of the more childish of their group will become annoying with their "Master race" chest thumping when they hear the news, but anything that translates to more gamers enjoying the experience the better.

That said, I hope the industry doesn't take this to mean that MOBAs and MMORPGs should be the next first-person shooter. I am and will always be a single player gamer. Online multiplayer breeds griefing and elitism and I have no desire to be exposed to it. If this ushers in an age when the vast majority of gaming is online-multiplayer centric, it may well mark the end of my decades as a gamer.

dont be ridiculous, we still get tons of single player games, or atleast games hwere single player is an option

*looks at his Steam library of 228 games and countless disks around the desk*
*looks back at the PS3 with 5 games on disks and seven digital*

Why am I not surprised?

As we approach a practical plateau for graphics (for development budget reasons if nothing else) and consoles become more and more PC-like this shouldn't surprise anyone. Before this console generation is over more powerful PCs will be ubiquitous, and PC ports are set to be more straightforward than ever. The only reason to buy an interior proprietary PC is exclusives.

This doesn't surprise me at all. I have been a PC gamer for years, and 90% or so of my entire game library exists on Green man gaming, or Steam, I have obviously embraced the superiority of the PC as a gaming platform. Although I do have to argue for the console market, the only consoles I own are the PS2, and the Gamecube.

But I am sad the see gaming consoles go through this slow dieing we seem to be seeing. I have always felt the reason PC games are so great is because they have directly competed with the amazing games on the consoles, or been ports of the good console games (yes some have been terrible, but we mod them as PC owners, thus the advantage of the PC). PC games that were worth anything always had to prove they were a better. FPS had to prove they were better than anything consoles could furbish (TF2, ARMA). They had to show that the RTS genre wasn't dead when the console manufacturers claimed they were, such as the Total War franchise, Starcraft 2 etc. The PC market showed that the MMO was a viable and amazing market, for better or for worse, and they showed that the F2P model could be adopted by millions and make a shit ton of cash (LoL, DOTA2, Planetside 2, etc).

In short I think the PC has seen a revitalization of sorts in the past few years as well due to the indie gaming scene, there are a ton of indie games worth mentioning that are just amazing, but I don't want to spam you with a list of games. I feel the consoles are going through a crisis of conscious. They're fighting over whether they should be about gaming, or movie streaming, or facebooking, or sharing info, or whatever. I don't think consoles will ever leave, but I think they'll have to focus their energy back to gaming to make profits, I feel this generation will teach Sony and Microsoft, and probably Nintendo they can't rest on their laurels and they need to think about the "gamer" as their main audience, instead of thinking they can sell to "everyone" and make a buck.

*Disclaimer if this thread makes no sense it's because it's midnight on a Friday and I am drunk*

JET1971:

Zipa:

marurder:
When EVER has a console been a (gaming) necessity!?

Well there was a period there before Valve came out with Steam when PC was getting ignored the hell out of in favour of console gaming and was really on the ropes for awhile.

No it wasn't, the games were still being made and sold and there were still just as many players. The issue was advertising for the consoles and the console games was being heavily pushed. Not just the advertising from the publishers but from game reviewers.

PC gaming was never really in danger of 'dying' but I'd say there was a lot more to it than what you're saying, and I think it's worth pointing out that a lot of it was instigated by Microsoft. I grew up playing consoles, then after getting out of high school got my first gaming PC in '99. My local Gamespot had plenty of shelving space for PC, both new and used games, and typically console games were made by Japanese developers and PC games were made by North American/European developers.

That's how it was my first few years of PC gaming, but with the launch of the Xbox MS started a migration of Western developers to console gaming to the point where last gen Western developers were the dominant force on console. From that period of around 99-2005 a good number of PC game developers also either went under (Interplay comes to mind) or got bought up by increasingly console focused publishers like EA.

At the same time, retail space for PC games started shrinking. By around 2005-06 I could no longer buy used PC games at Gamestop, and by 2010 the shelving space was all but gone. Personal annecdote but what converted me to Steam was when Empire:Total War was released and I couldn't find it anywhere in retail.

PC gaming still had a few strong lifelines from 2000-2010, but it really was losing to console until Valve, indy developers, and kickstarter brought it back to the forefront.

Not really related here, but I find it kind of ironic now that I'm posting this from a browser in Linux which I just installed specifically because of gaming. My windows 7 version is 32 bit. Wanted to get back into Minecraft and join a Feed The Beast mod pack server but it won't run on a 32-bit OS.Looking further into the future Galactic Civ III and Star Citizen will require 64 bit OS's, but they're also getting released for Linux. Looks like I won't be needing to spend money on a new Windows any time soon!

008Zulu:
I would offer an analogy to the whole PC/console war...

PCs are Timelords and Consoles are Daleks. Everytime the Daleks come out with a newer, stronger model, the Timelords regenerate in to something newer, better and stronger.

Hopefully we can get a madman in a box to come along and wipe both sides out, because the war is absurd.

Although that's been messed with, but I can still hope!

RealRT:
*looks at his Steam library of 228 games and countless disks around the desk*
*looks back at the PS3 with 5 games on disks and seven digital*

Why am I not surprised?

Because you're weighing yourself as normal and assuming the outcome will be in line?

Well, it happened to work here.

Zachary Amaranth:
Hopefully we can get a madman in a box to come along and wipe both sides out, because the war is absurd.

You mean like Gabe and the Steambox?

Yeah, and guess what? Pretty soon PC will be getting Haswell-E 8-core processors, DDR4 RAM and GDDR6 GPUs. PC is going to be hilariously overpowered when compared to the mighty next-gen consoles.

captcha: what for

For The Witcher 3 and Star Citizen of course!

What a change ! For several consoles gens, the PC was dead (each time) but not for this one.
As a PC player since the 90's, at the very beginning i made this choice only from a financial point of view (the games prices on consoles vs pc). Now i'm cool with this choice, i can upgrade, do retro gaming, don't have to pay a sub for multiplayer and so on.
It's my choice of course but i will never go back to consoles, a more expensive system with too much restrictions for my taste.

Last console game I bought was Dragon's Dogma, it was good but would be so much better on PC...

grigjd3:
PC gaming has become relatively easy lately and more and more affordable whereas the consoles are doing everything they can to make life hard on people. .

PC vs Console aside I think this pretty much sums up the entire thing

the advantages a console had over a PC have been eroding away last gen and this gen

NuclearKangaroo:
i made a thread about the average money spent by players in some of the most popular F2P games

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/9.846989-Study-rounds-up-top-ten-of-average-revenue-per-user-in-F2P-games-WoT-first-LoL-last?

now i have no idea how may untold millions play LoL, but multiply that number by 1.32 and you can get an idea of how much money Riot has made, just last year

That doesn't seem right. Only $1.32 per player? Yeah lol has like 58.5 million players but thats not much money. Even if it were a 100 million players thats only $132 million? GTA5 made a BILLION BEFORE it came out on pc!

This is why I want to know how and what people are counting. Another sight says the gaming industry in 2012 was worth $68 billion a year and that the pc section was 18.6 billion in 2011. That sites info is exactly the opposite of this article.

http://vgsales.wikia.com/wiki/Video_game_industry

Frankly I find all the reports hard to believe. I doubt anyone really knows.

RealRT:
*looks at his Steam library of 228 games and countless disks around the desk*
*looks back at the PS3 with 5 games on disks and seven digital*

Why am I not surprised?

I'm curious, how much have you spent on steam games? 228 is a lot of games. But if you bought most of them on steam sales it could be surprisingly little revenue.

Personally I have like 30 steam games or so but its all humble bundle and sales. It would surprise me if it totaled more than like $60. And about 5 of them have ever been played. I own 3 recent disk pc games for about $110 more.

Where as I own between 80-100 last gen console disks and several more digital I bought, plus all the ps+ ones I get with a subscription. 90% or more I've played and beat. Most were bought new at release so I paid a few thousand for them.

I know steam makes a lot of money. But I want to know is whether pc gamers actually PAY enough money to support AAA development? If pc truly does kill of the consoles I'm worried that might be the end of AAA games.

I wonder if the end of net neutrality and comcast merger will change the whole situation. When merged comcast/time warner will have like 78% of the US customer base. Charging higher prices for internet speed and capping usage could heavily impact digital sales. Especially as next gen games are already 37 gigs + patches that are gigs too. And they are just going to get bigger.

Silly analyst.

Consoles have always been a luxury, even if a console is cheap.
PCs, not game PCs (though the difference is only a $100+ graphics card), have been necessity for many people for over a decade.

The only thing that's changed is that PC gaming has become less of a hassle over time and consoles have become more of a hassle.

veloper:
Silly analyst.

Consoles have always been a luxury, even if a console is cheap.
PCs, not game PCs (though the difference is only a $100+ graphics card), have been necessity for many people for over a decade.

The only thing that's changed is that PC gaming has become less of a hassle over time and consoles have become more of a hassle.

Whats the hassle on the consoles thats not on pc?

008Zulu:
I would offer an analogy to the whole PC/console war...

PCs are Timelords and Consoles are Daleks. Everytime the Daleks come out with a newer, stronger model, the Timelords regenerate in to something newer, better and stronger.

Bad analogy, as precisely ONE Timelord is a match for the Daleks and nearly every other one would have died without his help.

OT: Given the nature of business and entertainment, I call 'Analyst missing the point entirely'.

Raziel:

veloper:
Silly analyst.

Consoles have always been a luxury, even if a console is cheap.
PCs, not game PCs (though the difference is only a $100+ graphics card), have been necessity for many people for over a decade.

The only thing that's changed is that PC gaming has become less of a hassle over time and consoles have become more of a hassle.

Whats the hassle on the consoles thats not on pc?

Nothing, unless it's typing game activation codes is easier on a PC keyboard.
What I was saying is that there's inconveniences in current consoles that weren't there in older console generations. Meanwhile, all the different boot configurations, IRQ conflicts, etc. on the old PC are a thing of the past. The only little challenge still left is knowing what rig to buy where.

Oh how this will make the more err "vocal" PC gamers smile with glee. I'm just going to sit here and hope that more posts which are laden with liquid smug get produced, if only for a quick chuckle.

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