Kit Lewin, account manager for PC and tablet clients at GfK, says in this opinion piece that 2016 is going to be another positive year for the PC gaming market.
2015 was a strong year for gaming PCs (sold with a consumer OS and NVIDIA GTX or AMD Radeon R7 and R9 3 Series or above) that saw sales grow in volume terms by more than 45 per cent year-on-year. Value grew at 59 per cent year-on-year, driven by the increased prices that were paid for these devices across the last year.
The increased attention being received by this category has also coincided with developments within the retail landscape, with the news that online etailer Overclockers has partnered with GAME to bring PC gaming hardware back to the High Street.
Other key indicators of the market strength can be seen on the peripherals side where 15 per cent value growth year-on-year, whilst gaming mice have also performed well with 20 per cent value growth in the same period.
The focus on gaming PCs in 2016 is expected to continue with a number of eagerly awaited releases on both the hardware and software side of the market. Key titles such as Squad, Overwatch and Doom set to launch this year could help to fuel further growth within the hardware side of the market.
The release of virtual reality (VR) devices such as Oculus Rift and HTC Vive are expected to generate further focus on this market across 2016 and 2017.
High end gaming focused graphics cards have also performed well in 2015, which indicates strength from the ‘build your own’ gaming PC market. These devices have seen 50 per cent volume growth and almost 70 per cent value growth across the last year, demonstrating the high end gaming consumers ability to upgrade and build their own hardware devices.
Often, the minimum specification of key games can act as a driver in terms of growth areas for gaming PC spec. Expect greater focus on specification requirements around new VR devices to have an impact going in 2016 as keen gamers ensure their devices are ready for the release of these devices.
2016 looks set to continue the trend for increased focus on the high end gaming market and if the signs from 2015 are anything to go by, it could well be a very positive year indeed.
About the author
Kit Lewin is an account manager for PC and tablet clients at GfK.