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Revenue in enthusiast market will grow significantly despite lost market share

Computer and hardware manufactures know that consumers willing to spend vast sums of cash can most often be found in the enthusiast and gamer markets. These people will spend hundreds of dollars on the latest video cards and processors in pursuit of every last ounce of performance.

Jon Peddie Research (JPR) has announced new data on the PC gaming hardware market and the worldwide DIY market segments of the computer industry. According to JPR, 46% of the dollars spent in 2009 on gaming-motivated PC hardware was from the enthusiast class. The money was spent on gear like boutique PCs, high-end processors, and SSDs.

JPR is predicting that a shift in the product mix is coming to the PC gaming market. By 2013, the enthusiast class will lose market share to the performance and mainstream classes. However, the money spent in the enthusiast hardware segment will grow significantly from $9.5 billion to almost $12.5 billion in 2013 making the enthusiast class one of the most important for manufacturers.

JPR video game analyst Ted Pollak said, "PC hardware has caught up to most of the software and people are able to play computationally intensive games on Performance level systems. Performance systems now even support high resolution for all but the most demanding simulations and FPS's. The frequency of Direct X updates is also driving some people toward mid-range GPU's. Some gamers are buying Performance GPUs at a higher refresh rate to engage the latest Direct X version, instead of a longer term investment for Enthusiast GPU's."

JPR president Jon Peddie said, "Gamers are ordering, building, and modding their rigs with components that just a few years ago were simply not available with any economy of scale. SSD's, water cooling, gaming mice and keyboards and other components have come to the Performance class and gamers are starting to snap them up. "

The firm also announced that the global market analysis for DIY PC builds covering gamer segments and business segments has predicted robust growth as well. The market will be worth about $10.4 billion in sales annually and much of the sales will be driven by businesses looking to get better performance from their enterprise applications.



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RE: Soo PC gaming isn't dead or dying?
By Pirks on 3/24/2010 10:13:26 AM , Rating: 1
PC hardware is always doing well, but loss of PC exclusives like Crysis, Doom and Half-Life (I mean the move of those studios to console/multiplatform) while console exclusives like Halo, GeoW and Uncharted are thriving - this is definitely a worrisome sign. Big shot games like Alan Wake and The Darkness are bound to stay console exclusives 'cause there are _BIG_ money behind console platforms (i.e. Sony and MS) while noone pays any studio to make any PC exclusive. Hence quality brightest blockbusters will move to consoles and PC gamers will eat multiplatform and maybe a few budget PC exclusives like Mount & Blade (not to deride this uberexcellent gameplay-wise although graphically poor and budget PC exclusive).

Compared to the state of affairs in 2007 when I was playing Crysis and console owning buddies were drooling all over it (PS3 and Xbox 360 games were looking SO F@CKING POOR back then compared to Crysis) - right now the situation is looking pretty sad.

Bye bye PC blockbaster exclusives, we will miss the Golden Age (1995-2005) forever. Enthusiast monster GPUs died together with Crysis.


RE: Soo PC gaming isn't dead or dying?
By themaster08 on 3/24/2010 10:20:28 AM , Rating: 2
There are still PC exclusives out there, some pretty big ones, perhaps not as many, but I feel that with Valve releasing Steam on the Mac, this will give developers more of a reason to develop for the PC/Mac platforms.

You just have to play the new S.T.A.L.K.E.R. or AVP on the PC in DX11 mode and see that PC gaming still has that WOW factor.


RE: Soo PC gaming isn't dead or dying?
By icanhascpu on 3/24/2010 10:26:11 AM , Rating: 3
PC gaming will normalize. If some people want to be emo/drama and say its dying then thats ok, no one cares what they say.

PC gaming wont die because PC gaming is always going the potential to be superior in terms of visual to its console counterparts.

Comfort is a non-issues either. I can easily plug my computer into a big screen and use a wireless controller or m/k.


RE: Soo PC gaming isn't dead or dying?
By Pirks on 3/24/2010 11:03:24 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
PC gaming is always going the potential to be superior in terms of visual to its console counterparts
This potential doesn't do squat to help studios to sell their PC titles. When they invest big money in a PC exclusive they get much less ROI compared to console. This is the problem. PC piracy has killed big shot PC exclusives. If all those pirated Crysis copies were paid for, you know the standard PC game price - 49 dollars a pop - then Crytek would swim in money by now and they probably wouldn't know what the heck the "console" thing is and why would anyone develop for it when PC exclusive Crysis brought them much more money than any console exclusive. Unfortunately, all of this is wishful thinking, this is why Crytek went console. Money and piracy decided its fate. "PC potential" did not.


RE: Soo PC gaming isn't dead or dying?
By themaster08 on 3/24/2010 11:23:02 AM , Rating: 1
I don't see piracy amongst PC gaming being as much of an issue as it's made out to be.

It's just as easy to pirate games for an Xbox 360 or Wii, albeit online functionality will be non-existent due to getting banned from XBL and so forth.

But this is also happening on the PC. Many games are now forcing online capabilities through SteamWorks, which to be honest I quite like the idea, and it disables online functionality for pirated games.

Games are usually cheaper on the PC, and the demand is lower. It's all about money. Steam on the Mac, along with very affordable hardware such as the HD 5770 will help PC gaming.


RE: Soo PC gaming isn't dead or dying?
By meepstone on 3/24/2010 11:49:13 AM , Rating: 1
I know game developers and the RIAA blame piracy as the only reason they lose sales/revenue... but were these people who did download pirated copies ever really going to spend money for the products to begin with?

They always claim lost sales, but how much is actually lost...?


By themaster08 on 3/24/2010 11:55:31 AM , Rating: 1
Exactly.

The less work they feel they need to do, the better for them. After all, consoles have a larger user base than the PC alone, so they develop games for consoles and leave PC gamers in the dust with shoddy ports or no game whatsoever.

They will always throw the piracy card, but it's really wearing thin. We all know what it's all about. Laziness.


RE: Soo PC gaming isn't dead or dying?
By artemicion on 3/24/2010 2:16:24 PM , Rating: 2
Anecdotally, I know lots of people that pirate computer games but don't pirate console games. It's "easier" in the sense that pirating games on the computer doesn't involve anything "new". It's the same find, download, and install model that has been used for years. On the other hand, each console requires learning new hardware mods. Even within a console generation, new hardware revisions require different mods. Sure, if you took the time to learn how to do it, it's probably really easy. But just the effort to research which xbox revision you have, what chipset, what dvd-rom, etc. can be exhausting. Then the next generation comes and you have to do it all over again.

That, combined with the chance of getting your Xbox banned from Live is enough to deter a significant number of people from pirating games. Is your modded console going to be able to play future games? What happens if there's a major firmware update? What if the firmware update is required to play the next best game? What if you need to connect to Live to patch a game? What if you want to connect to Live to download DLC? Is your console going to get banned/bricked?

100% secure? No. Do a lot of people still pirate on consoles? Yes. Is the console overall, more secure than PC? I'd bet money on it.

Combine THAT with the fact that development is probably vastly easier on consoles (you're programming for a single hardware platform, contrasted with debugging your game on a dizzying array of hardware configurations on the PC) is enough to motivate most would-be PC devs from jumping ship.


By GodisanAtheist on 3/24/2010 6:42:11 PM , Rating: 2
I agree with all your points and would like to add that there is a kind of "armchair libertarian\Wild west" attitude about old school computer geeks in relation to those that grew up on console gaming. The problem lies in the different gaming cultures of PC Gamers and Console Gamers.

To an old school PC Gamer (they guy that spent his weekend resolving IRQ conflicts between his newfangled CD Drive and his Soundblaster 16 card) its the kind of attitude that says "if you can't properly protect your game, why SHOULDN'T I take advantage of it?" and in the same breath says "if your protective schemes inconvenience me, I'll make my way around them."

Console gamers have largely played within the bounds of the environment set-up for them, and are more likely to tolerate or accept rules and regulations placed on them by whatever provider.

Its like the difference in cultures between a lawless every-man-for-himself wasteland and a government holds your hand when you pee type of nanny-state (to use hyperbole to stress the point).


RE: Soo PC gaming isn't dead or dying?
By Pirks on 3/24/2010 12:01:20 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
It's just as easy to pirate games for an Xbox 360
No, you have to do hardware mod first, which can be pretty complicated on the newer XBoxes with read only masked ROMs inside their DVD drives. On PC you just click a few buttons in torrent. No hardware mods, nothing. See the difference?
quote:
Steam on the Mac will help PC gaming
More likely it'll help console gaming with its OpenGL requirements.


RE: Soo PC gaming isn't dead or dying?
By themaster08 on 3/24/2010 12:11:10 PM , Rating: 2
I wasn't talking about modding the console. Most people I know had someone else perform the mod for them, so that's really a moot point. Anyone who wants this done can get it done pretty easily. Akin to having a PC upgrade performed for you to enable you to play a game.

With that in mind, all you need to do is click a few buttons in torrent for an Xbox 360 game.

quote:
More likely it'll help console gaming with its OpenGL requirements.

Or with it's general purpose CPU architecture, help PC gaming.


RE: Soo PC gaming isn't dead or dying?
By Pirks on 3/24/2010 12:19:57 PM , Rating: 1
But you still have to mod console and you don't have to do any mods to PC, this is the difference.


RE: Soo PC gaming isn't dead or dying?
By themaster08 on 3/24/2010 12:29:37 PM , Rating: 2
But it's not a difference that really affects anything. From my experience, those that pirate their PC games use their PC as their primary gaming platform. They don't do it because they can't get the game pirated for their console.

Usually a console gamer will strick to their platform and have their system modified if they wish to play pirated games.


RE: Soo PC gaming isn't dead or dying?
By Pirks on 3/24/2010 12:43:03 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
those that pirate their PC games use their PC as their primary gaming platform. They don't do it because they can't get the game pirated for their console
Yeah, they do it because it's way easier to pirate games on a PC than on a console. Exactly my point.


By themaster08 on 3/24/2010 12:47:07 PM , Rating: 2
After over 1 million Xbox live users had their consoles banned from the service, console pirating is evidently rampant.

My point wasn't that they use the PC because it's easier to pirate games, but because PC gaming is their personal preference, regardless of pirating.


RE: Soo PC gaming isn't dead or dying?
By wempa on 3/24/2010 12:26:39 PM , Rating: 2
What he is saying is that anybody can run a pirated PC game because the cracks are all in the software. With consoles, they have to be opened up and some modification performed. You also lose your warranty when you open up the console. With a PC, it's MUCH easier. Still, I don't buy the piracy argument either. Good games will sell. I used to be a huge fan of the Blizzard games. There was enough play value in them to make them worth the $50 investment. Sure, piracy plays a part, but there are ways to limit the damage done by it.


RE: Soo PC gaming isn't dead or dying?
By themaster08 on 3/24/2010 12:35:33 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
What he is saying is that anybody can run a pirated PC game because the cracks are all in the software. With consoles, they have to be opened up and some modification performed. You also lose your warranty when you open up the console.

I understand the argument, and it is absolutely valid. However, it's becoming increasingly difficult to pirate PC games. Sure, there are cracks and whatnot, but online gaming will be non-existent, and in some cases, the crack will leave them with some form of malware.

And there's always that fundamental argument. If they couldn't pirate, would they buy the game then? I don't condone pirating, but developers aren't losing money on people that wouldn't buy their game anyway.


By wempa on 3/24/2010 12:49:50 PM , Rating: 2
I agree with what you are saying. If the companies focus on making great games with great online play and not inconvenience us with these ridiculous DRM protection schemes, then they would continue to be very successful. I never had a problem paying for Blizzard games like Diablo/Warcraft/Starcraft. The $50 cost was nothing to have a legitimate copy of a game that provided hundreds or thousands of hours of entertainment. In fact, nobody I knew even wanted a pirated copy of those games.


By GodisanAtheist on 3/24/2010 6:32:22 PM , Rating: 2
All the same, the logic that if someone was never going to buy it they should get it for free is equally tortured. Of course they weren't going to buy it THEY CAN GET IT FOR FREE! If someone is handing out free Lemon-aid every bit as good as the stuff you have to pay 5 bucks a cup for... would you ever spend the $5? Would anyone?

I remember seeing this round table debate about what to do about Movie or Television piracy and one quote that always stuck out to me was "Its hard to build an economic model that's more tempting than free."


RE: Soo PC gaming isn't dead or dying?
By ClownPuncher on 3/24/2010 4:35:18 PM , Rating: 2
Crysis, at this point, has sold something like 4million copies. A pretty big success in the PC gaming industry, especially for a game that is often lampooned for its gameplay. Cevat Yerli of Crytek blasted piracy for "killing his game", yet they still sold millions, made money hand over fist, and had enough money/interest to make a new engine with scalable tech in Crysis 2.

Even The Witcher sold close to 2million copies, from a studio with no previous titles, under the radar from eastern europe.

PC gaming was a 13+billion dollar industry in 2009.


RE: Soo PC gaming isn't dead or dying?
By Pirks on 3/24/2010 5:01:21 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Crysis, at this point, has sold something like 4million copies
At what price? $20 or $10 from a bargain bin as a 3 year old discounted game? Sheesh.

Now imagine the situation where there's no piracy and due to that Crytek sells triple that amount, and not for $10 from bargain bin but like in first month or two, Modern Warfare 2 craziness style, remember that huh?

Next thing they'd say would be: "yeah baby we have so much money now we won't waste time on consoles and you PC gamers will get your next super duper DX11 blockbuster fix from us in a couple of years, PC exclusive and setting a new bar for gaming visuals, as usual for Crytek, aha?"

See any difference with reality? I wish Crytek continued developing quality bar setters as in the past but these days are gone 'cause why would you waste your money and time when your ROI will be low and most gamers will just torrent it for free you know?
quote:
PC gaming was a 13+billion dollar industry in 2009
Hardware sales? Doh, as if it matters anything for the gaming studios :)


RE: Soo PC gaming isn't dead or dying?
By ClownPuncher on 3/24/2010 6:55:10 PM , Rating: 2
I fail to see the relevance. Crysis vs. MW2? We are talking about a game that required top of the line PC hardware to run vs. a game that debuted on all modern platforms with a massive hypewagon attached.

4+ million copies sold is a huge success whether it is sold at $50 or at $30. Piracy is just being used as a scapegoat.

As far as exclusives go, there is very little reason for them other than to sell a platform, rather than the game. For all AAA titles, porting them to other platforms will always bring good ROI. If a game is good, it will sell.

quote:
Hardware sales? Doh, as if it matters anything for the gaming studios :)


Nah, I meant game sales alone.


By Pirks on 3/25/2010 10:10:12 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
We are talking about a game that required top of the line PC hardware to run
No it didn't, you could run Crysis on a low end hardware too but with worse rendering quality, and you know that.
quote:
there is very little reason for them other than to sell a platform, rather than the game
Exactly, this was my point - nobody gives a sh*t about PC as a gaming platform, so why promote big budget PC exclusives then? PC gamers can eat whatever leftovers left after console gamers got their luxury service. Meaning multiplatform ports, that is IF studio considers porting a game to PC at all, and that is a big IF.
quote:
porting them to other platforms will always bring good ROI. If a game is good, it will sell.
Yeah, right, you see any rush in porting GeoW 2, Halo 3, Uncharted, God of War, The Darkness, etc etc to PC? No? Why so? The games are excellent so they WILL SELL you say. Maybe in reality they WILL BE PIRATED instead, huh? ;)
quote:
I meant game sales alone
Haha, so you posted the PC game sales ONLY, without console game sales. I wonder why ;))) Probably because console game sales are much larger but it was pretty inconvenient for you so you decided to sweep it inder the rug, dontcha? ;))


RE: Soo PC gaming isn't dead or dying?
By Pirks on 3/24/2010 10:58:37 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
this will give developers more of a reason to develop for the PC/Mac platforms
Mac GPUs are no better than console GPUs (quite often they're even much worse) so this doesn't change squat.

I guess I'll try AVP later when I get DX11 hardware, but what's up with Call of Pripyat? Is it any better than previous installment? I thought they used same XRay engine plus a few minor tricks with DX11 tesselator, so there's like nothing to look at, no?


RE: Soo PC gaming isn't dead or dying?
By themaster08 on 3/24/2010 11:09:50 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Mac GPUs are no better than console GPUs

The fact that Mac GPU's are no better than consoles doesn't mean squat.

As we both know, graphical settings can be altered in PC/Mac games, so having a lower quality video card is a non-issue.

What matters is the user base. A much larger user base will entice developers to create PC/Mac exclusive titles to appease the growing community.

As for AVP and S.T.A.L.K.E.R., just play them and see for yourself. The visuals and lighting effects are beautiful. Using the same engine is irrelevant. Just look at Serious Sam HD. Rehash of the same engine, yet vastly more visually appealing.


RE: Soo PC gaming isn't dead or dying?
By Pirks on 3/24/2010 11:22:39 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
much larger user base will entice developers to create PC/Mac exclusive titles to appease the growing community
Yeah, another multiplatform stuff designed to run on lowest common denominator Mac hardware. Now add to this the fact that Mac games must use OpenGL just like Sony and Nintendo consoles do. All of this screams console multiplatform. No more big budget PC exclusives like Crysis or HL2 or Doom3.


By themaster08 on 3/24/2010 11:36:03 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Yeah, another multiplatform stuff designed to run on lowest common denominator Mac hardware.

The point I was making is games on the PC and Mac are flexible. Whilst they may be made with the lowest common denominator in mind, graphical settings can be altered accordingly. It really doesn't matter anyway. Mac hardware meets the minimum/recommended specs for most games released nowadays.

OpenGL is the only similarity they share. CPU architecture and the ability for flexible graphical sttings make porting a game to the Mac a much easier task than doing so for a console.

In the future this move could possibly force a single standard between PC's and Macs as opposed to DirectX vs. OpenGL. Who knows? But I sure an eager to find out.


RE: Soo PC gaming isn't dead or dying?
By cmdrdredd on 3/24/2010 5:02:27 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
You just have to play the new S.T.A.L.K.E.R. or AVP on the PC in DX11 mode and see that PC gaming still has that WOW factor.


Good graphics do not equate good game I'm afraid. Both very average to poor.


RE: Soo PC gaming isn't dead or dying?
By Pirks on 3/24/2010 5:19:29 PM , Rating: 2
Gimme a good game then, just to compare


RE: Soo PC gaming isn't dead or dying?
By ClownPuncher on 3/24/2010 6:58:49 PM , Rating: 2
Metro 2033.

Also, the new STALKER and AVP are actually both good games. The tesselation is subtle, but the lighting effects take the cake.


By Omega215D on 3/25/2010 1:02:29 AM , Rating: 2
For some reason only IGN rated Metro 2033 as passable. I decided to bite the bullet and try it for myself. I find the game quite enjoyable and even though I don't care much for the bullets as currency kind of deal it's still fun.

Same goes for Modern Warfare 2 and Bad Company 2. Many people say they're bad and so forth but when playing online I find myself getting more than my money's worth. Then I go to work...


By themaster08 on 3/24/2010 8:34:56 PM , Rating: 2
Have you actually played the games or are you judging that on the Metacritic reviews? I think AVP is a very good game.

I do agree that graphics don't equate to a good game. That wasn't my point. My point was the visual advances towards consoles. Both of which look quite stunning.


RE: Soo PC gaming isn't dead or dying?
By MrBlastman on 3/24/2010 10:38:51 AM , Rating: 4
Good luck trying to play StarCraft 2 on a console. Wait, I would love to see someone try, just so I could laugh.

The PC is not dead. There is plenty out there to play that consoles have no chance at trying to run or support.


By Taft12 on 3/24/2010 11:17:33 AM , Rating: 2
It's not unprecedented for them to try, remember Starcraft for Nintendo 64?

PORTING FAIL, but that won't stop them from trying again...


"If you can find a PS3 anywhere in North America that's been on shelves for more than five minutes, I'll give you 1,200 bucks for it." -- SCEA President Jack Tretton











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