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PC gamers might not have too much to complain about these days.
But it appears that there is a catch: they’re just not as good as they used to be.
According to a new study from the US-based market research firm eMarketer, a small percentage of PCs are significantly less powerful than they used, and this isn’t because of a change in design.
It is, instead, due to a shift in how consumers consume content.
The company’s report shows that PC users are now consuming more games and media than they did just five years ago, when they were only consuming about one-third of the entertainment content they used.
But even more worrying is that, in the last five years, gaming and streaming have taken off, with new consoles and games now hitting the mainstream.
E-sports and mobile games have been making waves, with more than 30 million concurrent players.
The rise of online competitions has also fuelled this growth, with a number of big-name sports leagues making their mark in recent years.
As a result, eMarketers research shows that there are now as many PCs running the new PC gaming computer (COG) market as there were computers in 2012.
In other words, as we saw with the Xbox One, the trend is to take the console and turn it into a PC gaming machine.
The PC gaming market, which is currently valued at $1.7 trillion, is projected to hit $2 trillion by 2021.
However, it’s not all good news.
The report also reveals that while PC gaming is increasing, the market is becoming increasingly fragmented.
For example, it is predicted that the total PC gaming audience will grow to nearly half of the total consumer audience by 2021, from 40% today.
And the report also shows that the market for console gaming will grow from 5.1 million to 6.6 million consoles by 2021 – an increase of 10%.
However, despite this growth in the PC gaming industry, there are still areas that are struggling.
The biggest is the video game industry, with eMarkers forecasting that the industry will be $5.7 billion in annual losses by 2021 due to declining sales of the PC and console games.
As eMarkets research chief, James Kipnes, said, “There’s a lot of things that need to change.
It’s not that the PC isn’t being used anymore; it is.
It is a growing market, but there’s a big gap.”
He also pointed out that while the PC is experiencing a boom in the mobile space, there is an opportunity for it to grow even further.
“Mobile gaming is a new business and we need to get our heads around how to make it sustainable,” he said.
The market is growing, but it needs to be supported by developers and publishers”It’s a bit of a mixed bag, to be honest.
We see a lot more people on their mobile phones now, and the market needs to support that.
But we also need to recognise that the platform needs to grow.”
We need to support the market, he added.
We’ve seen a lot growth in mobile gaming.
But that growth is a bit more in terms of games that have been released on a platform like the iPhone, rather than the other way around, and there is some of that going on.
That said, there have also been some big releases on consoles, with the likes of Halo: Reach and Batman: Arkham City both releasing on PS4 and Xbox One respectively.
And in the long-term, the growth of the platform and its audience is expected to continue.
“We’ve got a huge platform in the middle of a huge audience,” Kipnis said.
“But it’s going to be an interesting challenge for publishers and developers to figure out how to support it.”
We’ve also got a lot to look forward to in terms to the future.
“This article was originally published on The Irish Examiner.