Whilst it may come as no surprise to most of us, the PC gaming community saw a huge rise in popularity last year. As the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic forced many to stay indoors, new ways of entertainment had to be devised and invested in, and PC gaming seems to have gotten the biggest attention.
In total, PC gamers had reportedly spent a whopping $4.5 billion on new hardware and tech for their gaming rigs in 2020, which is a 62% increase over 2019 according to the NPD Group. That’s a pretty large rate of increase, one which I’m sure is much higher than anyone expected, even if it was obvious that the platform would grow nevertheless due to everyone staying at home.
More specifically, PC gaming accessories saw the largest growth, with the sales of new headsets, monitors, and keyboards increased by 81%. On the other hand, PC hardware - which includes graphics cards, CPUs, and the like - rose by 57%, obviously limited by the issues with extremely low stock and skyrocketing premium prices.
That does make you think how much more the market would have grown if there were no issues with stock or price for the brand new hardware. The above figures are also reported purely on revenue and not the actual amount of units sold.
One reason why many at home focused on investing in PC gaming over other forms of entertainment has to do with how accessible the platform is. As NPD Group notes, many households will already have some form of computer, whether desktop or laptop:
“PC gaming is the most innovative, open and content-diverse segment in the video game industry. It is also one of the most accessible, as many households have a desktop or laptop computer,” said Mat Piscatella, a video game industry analyst at NPD Group “Over the course of 2020, there was a significant increase in both the number of PC video game players as well as the time and money those players invested in PC gaming.”
Interestingly, despite the amount of investment into PC gaming and the growth of the industry in the last 12 months, the PC gaming community only saw a growth of 4% in actual players, suggesting that not many people actually took it up as a new hobby, and instead most of the revenue came from gamers who already had PC systems at home but decided to upgrade them.
What do you think? Did you buy any new hardware in 2020? What did you get? Was it PC hardware? New accessories? Or both? Let us know!