If you listen closely, you can hear the distant rumble of millions of furious PC gamers. A new report has suggested that in the near future, those who use PCs – often the proudest and most assured of the platform they play on – will ditch their long held choice in favour of console gaming.
Insert “X: Doubt” meme here.
The report comes from Jon Peddie Research (via PC Gamer), which claims that the “PC market continues to decline”. The research firm goes on to forecast that around 20 million gamers could leave their PCs behind for “TV gaming platforms”, known to you and I as home consoles.
While I’m inclined to label the claim that as many as 20 million could defect to console gaming as doubtful, the JPR report does make some interesting points that certainly backs up the idea that a number of gamers (maybe not 20 million, but a fair few) could leave their old PC loving ways in the past.
For example. JPR reckons that the majority of PC defectors would be those who have low-end builds, arguing that the improving quality of console hardware and exclusive games make a £500 console a more sensible investment than a low-end PC that costs around the same.
John Peddie said in a statement:
The PC market continues to decline because the innovation that took place in the past providing speed ups and clever new things has all but stopped, plus the product introduction times are stretching out to four years. This is not a panic situation and the GPU market still generates incredible volume. However, there are forces at work that we predict will drive some of this business toward TV displays and associated gaming services.
In addition to consoles becoming more powerful than ever before, JPR argues that cloud gaming services that can use TV or mobile screens as displays, such as Google Stadia, will further contribute to bringing people away from traditional PC gaming.
Ted Pollak, a senior analyst at JPR, said:
Gaming services used with TV displays, whether local or cloud-based, will absorb PC defectors and likely flourish with new entrants. In the next five years, we will see potential customers with access to TV gaming swell by hundreds of millions.
Of course, it’s worth taking these predictions with a healthy dose of skepticism. As PC Gamer points out, WePC reports that the value of the PC gaming market has been steadily increasing since 2011, while a survey from January last year found that over half of all developers asked said they were developing their games for PC or Mac.
For comparison, 27 percent said they were developing for the PS4, 22 percent for the Xbox One, and 3 percent for the Switch (which hadn’t been released at the time the survey was first conducted).
With the PlayStation 5, Google Stadia, and a new Xbox console all preparing the enter the scene in the next few years, it’ll be interesting to see exactly how that impacts PC gaming.
In my experience, PC owners tend to be pretty faithful to their platform for a number of reasons, so I don’t see the market for traditional machines dying off anytime soon – not the extent JPR predicts, at any rate.
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Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.