The PC gaming market is much larger than the console market, and it is growing at a torrid pace, according to new research.
According to a report from Jon Peddie Research, "the total market value for PC gaming hardware in 2008 was just over $20 billion, and that will grow to over $34 billion by 2012--and those systems pull in an additional $6 billion in software and services sales."
Most PCs can play games, but for the serious gamer, the equipment matters. PC gaming hardware includes things like specialized keyboards and mice, as well as sophisticated graphics cards and hard-core gaming machines from vendors such as Alienware, a division of Dell.
This specialized hardware allows gamers to customize their setups--ranging from enhancing graphic processing to mapping keys on the keyboard to making game play more efficient.
Don't let the retail numbers fool you," said Ted Pollak, co-author of the report series. "Enthusiast PC gamers often latch on to one or two games that offer multiplayer options and stick to these titles for years. Hardware is where they spend the big bucks. The retail numbers don't capture the casual and digitally distributed games, either. Retail software figures are not an accurate barometer for the health of the PC gaming industry."
Those are some pretty amazing numbers--so large, in fact, that it makes me think that there are many opportunities for new companies to address the market.