PC gaming saves the day
There's no doubt that tablet PCs and smartphones are taking their toll on the desktop and notebook markets. Your Aunt Mabel doesn't need a tower system to use Facebook, and even little Billy is infatuated with touchscreen devices like the iPad. But there's one group that hasn't been swayed by the handheld mobile movement: PC gamers. Jon Peddie Research (JPR) likens this group to motorcycle and sports car enthusiasts, noting that they're always looking for more speed, power, utility, and handling.
"Not only is gaming becoming an even more important purchasing influence of PC sales due to the offloading of more basic functionality to smart devices, but we are forecasting growth in the most expensive discrete graphics products. We are also impressed with the embedded graphics offerings this generation and going forward," Jon Peddie, President of JPR, said in a statement .
Ted Pollack, Senior Gaming Analyst at JPR, said the effect key titles have on hardware sales is "phenomenal." He pointed to ARMA 3, saying that this title alone will directly influence $800 million of PC builds.
It's not just tablets and smartphones that PCs are competing against, however. In terms of gaming, Microsoft (Xbox One) and Sony (PlayStation 4) have new consoles releasing later this year. Nevertheless, JPR points to the PC's ability to run ultra-high resolution displays, while consoles have display restrictions and forgiving couched based control input.
"[Consoles] just can't compete with the PC's precision and power," JPR noted.