Home Gaming 20 million PC gamers to defect to consoles by 2020, says research firm

20 million PC gamers to defect to consoles by 2020, says research firm

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According to some analysis by the Jon Peddie Research management and consulting firm, more and more PC gamers will become console gamers within the next two years. Now, before you grab your pitchforks, ready to rabble rouse and call the folks at JPR a bunch of short-sighted idiots, take a look at their reasoning.

There are three things, in particular, that has the research institute convinced that there’ll be a mass exodus from PC gaming to consoles: Moore’s Law’s diminishing returns, high GPU prices and video game streaming.

Moore’s Law, at its simplest, is a general observation that computer processing speeds double every two years. That law, such as it is, is no longer in effect, and has slowed down to a veritable crawl. It means that the increases in CPU and GPU speed and feature sets aren’t as nearly pronounced as it used to be, which means consoles are viable for longer-term gaming. In the past, by the time a console’s halfway through its generation, PCs have far eclipsed their capabilities, and that’s not quite the case anymore. Within the next two years, that change will be even less pronounced. With consoles just being simpler to use – and with them closing the gap on features, including things like mouse and keyboard control – they reckon more gamers will opt for consoles. This is especially true of the new consoles will have new generation features like Ray Tracing.

The next thing is the increasingly high cost of GPUS. Brand new high-end GPUs cost as much as (and sometimes more than) whole consoles, which JPR believes will cause more of the lower end PC gamers (those sporting builds of $1000 or less) to make the switch.

The last thing that might draw players away from PC gaming are streaming services like Google’s impending Stadia, Xbox’s game streaming and whatever it is PlayStation is doing to make PlayStation Now more viable in the future. Under ideal lab conditions, these services work exceptionally well and could improve in future to be good enough for most players. Of course, that’s under ideal conditions, and we’re unlikely to have those here so it’s moot. With the lower overall cost of these services though, they could tempt players away from PC gaming, which is still seen as expensive.

“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,” said Jon Peddie, President of Jon Peddie Research.

Okay, okay, NOW you can raise your pitchforks and commence the rabble rousing. We’ve heard of the death of consoles, the death of PC gaming and the death of mobile gaming for years – with none of that ever really happening. I don’t expect it to happen now.

Last Updated: May 13, 2019

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