Jon Peddie Research estimates there are 54 million Performance and Enthusiast class PC gamers worldwide, with new entrants and console converts bolstering this to 72 million by 2015.
The recession is winding down and the so-called 'Enthusiast' and 'Performance' class PC gamers (those who spend over $1000 on equipment) seems to be ready to spend again. With chips from AMD, Intel, and Nvidia, new machines from Alienware, HP, Lenovo and others, components and accessories from companies like ASUS, EVGA, Corsair, Logitech, and MadCatz, and new games in the pipe like Far Cry 3, BioShock Infinite, Crysis 3, ARMA 3, rFactor 2, and Interstellar Marines, the financial engine of the world's most elite gaming platform is fully fueled and will drive the global market to $32 billion by 2015, JPR estimates.
The hardware suppliers will be ready for them with new machines, Ultra HD and 120 HZ stereo3D capable displays, new super power supplies, sound systems, cases, cooling, high performance memory, SSDs, keyboards, mice, the list goes on and on.
Average selling prices for some components could suffer as competition heats up in 2013, but unit shipments will continue to rise, and components like SSD's are counterbalancing and buoying system integrated and DIY ASPs, JPR added.
Ted Pollak, Senior Gaming Analyst said "We are witnessing the market morph and grow into different areas. This has always been a strong point of PC gaming; the ability to adapt to different entertainment environments and requirements. The hobbyist aspect of the DIY market is driving billions in component sales and small form factor rigs are being hooked up to HDTVs, essentially being used as 'super consoles.'"
In its 33 country analysis of the gamer market, JPR has found very strong demand in the BRIC countries for systems, accessories, and upgrades approaching $4.7 billion in 2012 and growing to $7.7 billion by 2015.
China's internet cafe's are driving incredible demand for Mainstream and some Performance class gaming equipment. However, the market for individually owned Performance and Enthusiast class equipment has become serious business there as well, with a very strong trend for custom and DIY builds. Russians also love PC gaming and Brazil and India are just getting started.
Jon Peddie, President of JPR, notes that S3D has huge potential but that it must be standardized to really take hold with consumers. Peddie also notes that PC gaming use of Microsoft Kinect is still in its infancy but combined with the creative passion of PC developers and modders, it could find interesting application in the coming years.