There has been much FUD surrounding the supposed death of the PC industry, with sales of traditional desktops and laptops dropping as tablet sales skyrocket, but at least one sector of the PC market remains strong regardless. (We’ll save our diatribe about how a lot of tablets actually are PCs for another day.)
According to Jon Peddie Research (JPR), PC gaming hardware sales are strong and will likely actually increase in the coming years. Save for a slight dip in 2013 ($17,791,000), JPR predicts increasing sales through 2016 ($20,772,000).
Jon Peddie, President of JPR said "Not only is gaming becoming an even more important purchasing influence of PC sales due to the offloading of more basic functionality to smart devices, but we are forecasting growth in the most expensive discrete graphics products,” said JPR president Jon Peddie. “We are also impressed with the embedded graphics offerings this generation and going forward."
JPR also noted that one of the drivers of sales is the fact that as games place more demands on the CPU, simply swapping out a graphics card for the latest and greatest one (or rolling with a multi-GPU setup) isn’t quite enough for a true performance upgrade anymore. Gamers are buying or building overclocked machines.
The report also mentioned that gaming PCs have a place even with consoles populating living rooms, because consoles have performance limitations and can’t compete with PC precision.
This all makes plenty of sense. The average consumer just doesn’t need a high-powered desktop PC, and all-in-ones provide an attractive alternative for those who want a nice big display for their office or a shared family PC at home. Many of those who formerly couldn’t do without a laptop now find that a decent tablet serves almost all of their needs.
But there’s no substitute for a killer gaming PC and all that it can do, and in fact the growing tablet market should help gamers afford more of that hot hardware. There was a time when in addition to a gaming PC, you needed a $1,000 laptop for portable computing, for example. Now, unless you need to be especially productive when mobile, a $200-$500 tablet will more than suffice.
The above is why, as we‘ve said before, we believe the PC market will be just fine; it’s just that we’re in the middle of an evolution. Game on, brothers and sisters.