An estimated 20 million PC gamers could defect from their trusty PCs to consoles by 2022, according to a report from technology marketing and management consulting firm Jon Peddie Research.
The report suggests that low-end users (defined as those with builds costing less than $1000) are the most likely to make the switch to consoles. But as TV displays become better, consoles become more powerful, and more titles are available exclusively on consoles, mid- and high-end PC gamers might start to switch too.
Jon Peddie, President of Jon Peddie Research, shared his thoughts about the development of the PC market: “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,” he said.
But he was not entirely pessimistic about the future of PC hardware. “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,” he said.
A senior gaming analyst at Jon Peddie, Ted Pollak, pointed to the importance of customization in the future of PC hardware. He described “the ultimate use model of the PC” as “a desktop ergonomic gaming/computing environment that embraces user choice and customization.” He also pointed out that those leaving PC gaming could be absorbed into other categories with a similar setup, such as a TV display which streams a cloud-based gaming system.
Although this sounds like dire news for PC gamers, the fact is that games are not going anywhere. Even as the rise of mobile gaming has siphoned users away from a desktop gaming setup, new avenues like cloud gaming and the availability of powerful gaming laptops have led more people to a desktop-like gaming experience.
Also, as consoles become more powerful and finally support keyboard and mouse, the distance between “console” and “PC” is shrinking anyway. If only console makers would make their products easier to fix and to upgrade with new hardware, PC gamers might make the switch to a console more happily.