Is the PC now winning the gaming war?

PC Gaming Alliance claims the focus of gaming is shifting away from consoles
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Reports of the death of PC gaming have not only been greatly exaggerated, but the platform is actually in ascendancy, and is set to take the gaming platform crown from its console rivals. That’s according to
the PC Gaming Alliance.

The pan-industry corporation – formed and managed by big name firms such as Intel, AMD, Dell, Capcom and Epic – asserts that new payment models and the globalisation of markets are playing into the hands of PC gaming to a greater extent than consoles, and this dynamic is set to boost the platform’s standing ever more going forward.

“The spotlight has absolutely shifted back to PC gaming,” said Matt Ployhar, PCGA president and Intel graphics planner. “I don’t believe this phenomenon is going to slow down. A good portion of the companies that
are flush with cash right now are coming from abroad, which largely ties in with my postulation about globalization spilling over into the PC gaming ecosystem.”

“Investment dollars are also shifting back largely in favour of PC gaming for a variety of reasons. Most of this is tied to the profitability margins largely favouring PC gaming for the game developers themselves. For example, ‘free to play’ and micro transactions, practically no secondary sales market, and the shift to digital distribution to
name just a few.”

Furthermore Ployhar asserts the way in which market share between PCs, the PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii is currently communicated is ‘unrepresentative’ of the truth.

Essentially, the group’s point is that directly comparing PC to console game sales is as unfair as it would be to automatically compare PS3 sales to the conglomerate turnover of all the other gaming platforms.

“Globally, consoles don’t have anything close to the market penetration that PCs do. The market has been incorrectly articulated as if consoles were all part of the same team, which is frankly ludicrous,” he adds. “The reality is that it’s not really a console versus PC question – it’s really a matter of saying we have at least four or more very distinct gaming ecosystems all competing for the same mind and dollar share.”

In countries like the US, Canada and UK, marketing and development emphasis can often seem skewed in favour of consoles, but this isn’t necessarily a dynamic that is replicated around the world. The PCGA argues that the PC gaming industry is seeing massive benefits in nations where the PC is favoured as a gaming platform, thanks to the ubiquity of PCs over dedicated gaming consoles.

Christian Svensson PCGA secretary and Capcom SVP added: “Working in the PCs favour, digital distribution is already dominant, so retail friction has been overcome and global distribution is a reality. To that end, the biggest emerging gaming markets (Brazil, India, Russia) are predominantly PC-focused and smart companies are figuring out ways to harness the massive audiences that are becoming addressable. That’s not even really counting China, which I think is too mature to really call ‘emerging’ any more. It’s already the largest PC gaming market in the world.”

Ployhar added: “PCs, by their nature are where innovation takes place. The countries that have prioritized the PC from a gaming standpoint are now starting to see the early benefits of doing so and reaping those rewards.”

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