Things are tough all over, even in the gaming industry, but new market research shows that the platform best handling the punishing effects of the recession is none other than the venerable PC.
The PC gaming hardware market has slid but the decline is less pronounced that that experienced by game consoles, according to a new report by Jon Peddie Research. The total market for PC gaming hardware is predicted to fall to $18.65 billion in 2009, a seven percent drop from the 2008 mark of $20.07 billion, driven down by both the recession and lower prices on PC hardware. Overall, however, PC gaming hardware has experienced less discounting than that of console hardware, a fact the report says "illustrates the value consumers place on such systems."
In spite of the decline, the PC gaming hardware market in 2009 (which includes the PC, a percentage of the cost of a monitor and accessories as well as aftermarket and DIY parts and systems) is predicted to surpass that of all gaming consoles combined (calculated to include the cost of the console, a "certain amount" of accessories and the cost of an HDTV for display) by nearly $2 billion. The report also forecasts that things will pick up considerably following the downturn in 2009, with the total market value expected to hit nearly $24 billion in 2010, $29 billion in 2011 and $30.6 billion in 2010.
Analysts at Jon Peddie Research say PC gaming hardware is suffering less during the economic downturn because it's a "very economical form of entertainment." While that description can also be applied to consoles, PCs are far more flexible; a system designed for gaming is also fully capable of performing "conventional" PC tasks, such as office work and internet access, something consoles cannot offer.