Who's buying and building new PCs? Gamers, that's who

Who's buying and building new PCs? Gamers, that's who

Summary: Gamers are bucking the trend. While everyone else is shunning the PC in favor of smartphones and tablets, gamers are still buying and building new PCs to meet the demands of modern games.

TOPICS: Hardware, PCs

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.

(Source: JPR)

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. 

Topics: Hardware, PCs

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  • Editing

    Adrian, so many spelling mistakes I can't name them all.
    • It's not so much the spelling...

      it's using the wrong words! That sure makes it difficult to grasp the meaning.
    • okay time to relax on the grammar stuff.

      Bottom line, more gamers would come back and boost PC Sales if MS started focusing more on the platform and this is why I say MS is killing its main revenue stream.
      • Based on the state of our Nation's education system...

        ...it would seem the whole country has "taken a break" on the grammar stuff.
  • Oh looky...

    The grammar police.

    Ah well, good article. PC gamers are dedicated to high performance. My own rig cost around 5000 K. Didn't even flinch when I ponied up the ducats for hardware.
  • Gamers are buying the after-next-gen systems now

    Even though PS4 and XBOX1 are big steps up from the previous generation of hardware, the PC has gone significantly further this time around despite relatively low costs. Where the consoles have mid-range specs from the previous year or two of hardware design, their primary benefits and improvements will come from being a single dedicated hardware platform that can be easily optimized for. On the other hand, with only a few relatively few hardware and software standards surviving years of declining PC sales the same is beginning to hold true for PC gaming as well and this has lead to an explosion in PC gaming capability.
  • Blame Star Citizen =).

    "PC gaming is defying the trend and is expected to grow over the coming years, says analysts at Jon Peddie Research."

    Blame Star Citizen =). Built from the ground up to take advantage of the full power of gaming PCs, above and beyond what the Xbox 360 / PS3 generation of consoles can handle. That and a few other high-end games are driving sales.

    I'm definitely building a new rig for it.

    And I *DO* think gaming gets the short end of the stick sometimes on ZDNet. They toss it aside as small and unimportant, "niche," not worth noting. Nevermind it *is* a multi-billion dollar industry, and GameStop is on the Fortune 500.

    Okay, maybe it's not a big juggernaut, but I honestly think gaming is a respectable size industry.

    I wouldn't call it "niche," especially considering the wide demographics games such Angry Birds and many Facebook games bring in.
    • it is a game changer!

      It is a huge game changer and yes I meant to do that.

      Pretty much all my friends bought their first Computers for Duke Nuk'em 3D, Quake, and Diablo. There were game consoles that had decent games but, the PC was always better for many platforms and I honestly think they could have a resurgence here.
    • It does seem that ZDNet doesn't give much page space to gaming or

      other high-end systems. It's easier I guess to throw something out about the newest mobile gadget/phone/tablet. Sure, tablets sell/sold well, but the "dying PC" sold over 300 million in the same time frame (according to various reports) compared to tens of millions of tablets.
      • Not that they've been good at it when they've done so, either.

        Although to be the devil's advocate here: Even when they have covered gaming in the past, it's usually not very good. They don't play games much themselves, and don't know much about them.

        They think that integrated graphics are decent (they're really not), and seem to think the only games in existence are Angry Birds and Call of Duty.

        So maybe it's better they didn't cover games anyways.
  • Who's buying and building new PCs?

    Anyone who dosen't want to be locked into overpriced hardware with only ordinary performance. I've been building rocket ships for the last 15 years at a third of what they would cost at retail.

    My advise, buy the best motherboard you can afford and just keep building from there. Great place for advise and price are Toms Hardware & New Egg or Tiger Direct.
    Over and Out
    • Re: Who's buying and building new PCs?

      Agreed. I never had the money to "build a rocketship" as you say, but I would drop $1K on a fairly high-end machine and make it last about 5 or 6 years with good gaming performance.

      Your comment about motherboards is correct, if it were 5 years ago. Recently I've found that every new CPU has to have it's own (new) socket type. So, it's really difficult (today) to buy one motherboard and continue to use it for hardware upgrades a year later. Chances are you already have the best CPU for that mobo.
      • Invest ins a high end Discrete video card not a mobo

        The video card is the main piece of hardware that survives upgrades.

      PC Gamer for decades. All the usual reasons.

      What brought me back after a brief hiatus was the Steam Sales. Man, you can get great games for ridiculously low prices; and with no disks and packaging lying around. Awesome.
      • I had the same experince

        My favorite is they have alot of the classic games dirt cheap! couple that with some of the best games i have ever played in the past ten years all indie games like Trine, Torchlight, Faster Than Light etc.. all for under $10 each the value is unreal.
  • Wait, so the market is down for 2013

    but then goes back up? How is this evidence for an increase in the market? Pure speculation at this point.
  • I'm considering

    building my next system, if it's possible to find a legal copy of Windows 7 somewhere.
    • Still for sale

      I bought a copy of Windows 7 Pro at Amazon last week. Still available.
  • 3% Growth Rate In Such A Tiny Market

    No wonder it's not enough to stop Windows OEMs from going broke.
  • Well

    This market will get bigger in time especially as the consoles are going to be on x86, so there should be alot of "ports" to PC and as PC's get faster for gaming in general it will just get bigger. Personally PC has always been the way to game, but this just locks it in.