While the PC market is undeniably in decline, PC gaming is defying the trend and is expected to grow over the coming years, says analysts at Jon Peddie Research.
PC gamers are, according to Jon Peddie Research, buying and building PCs "with a fervency that could be compared to motorcycle, 4X4, and sports car enthusiasts, always looking for more speed, power, utility, and handling." This is likely to be good news for all the major PC players, especially given that high-end gaming bits command a greater profit margin than budget and mainstream parts.
"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 Jon Peddie, president of JPR, in a statement sent to ZDNet.
"We are also impressed with the embedded graphics offerings this generation and going forward."
So, good news for Intel and AMD, both of which have put massive effort into APUs that combine the CPU and GPU onto a single chip.
But it's not better hardware that's driving sales, but new high-end games aimed at PC users.
"The effect that key titles have on hardware sales is phenomenal," said Ted Pollak, senior gaming analyst at JPR.
"Enthusiast PC Gamers embrace content creation and modding, so when titles like Bohemia Interactive's ARMA 3 are in the pipeline; we start to see anticipatory hardware sales. In fact, we are estimating over $800 million of PC builds influenced primarily by this title."
$800 million dollars of PC builds as a result of a single game shows the sort of power that the gaming industry now has over the PC industry. It also goes to show the massive effect that the shift that the games console mush have had on the PC industry as a whole.
New games that are in the pipeline are putting such a strain on PCs that swapping out the graphics card is not enough, and instead gamers are building of buying in high-end overclocked PCs to cope with the workload.
There's also hope that gaming will be the savior of the tablet PC. JPR believes that casual gaming could help expend the x86 tablets market, opening the door to the living room, previously the domain of the games console.