The PC will have no trouble holding its own against PlayStation 4 and Xbox One this holiday season, say experts.
Publishers, vendors and retailers have told PCR that next-generation consoles present an opportunity for greater PC game and accessory sales going into Q4 and 2014.
With Xbox One due November for £429 and the PS4 out in time for Christmas at £349, the prices of next-generation consoles are similar to low and mid-level gaming PCs currently on the market.
“[Next-gen consoles] present a very sizeable and profitable opportunity to the PC market,” Focus Multimedia’s software brand manager Alan Wild told PCR. The firm has 70 games out this year and distributes the popular Angry Birds boxed games to retail.
“For hardcore gamers, they want the hardware and tech that delivers the best gaming experience. It’s all too easy to be swayed by the more mainstream ‘console glamour and clamour’ and forget that there’s already a massive gaming audience hungry for a choice of new PC games in store.”
Excalibur Publishing’s head of marketing Richard Barclay added: “PC game sales have benefitted massively from the long delay in new consoles arriving to market. They’re also looking better than ever before and these two facts alone have combined to see an eight per cent increase in PC sales worldwide during 2012. The proliferation of download sites and High Street retailers looking to offer such a service themselves will further improve sales figures.”
Several indies have recognised a rise in demand for gaming PCs, with Garry Stonehouse from Gbiz IT Computers saying they’ve been asked for more this year than ever before. Meanwhile, distributor VIP Computers says gaming is a huge growth area for the firm, including notebooks. “We expect this market to really take off in Q3 and Q4,” said ASUS product manager Mark Lynch.
Accessories specialist Gioteck also says the PC gaming market is more robust and less cyclical than the console sector, with PC controllers enjoying growth. It’s bringing a new PC range to market in mid-2014.
“It is our view that the PC market is under-serviced in terms of affordable well designed product and we certainly see great opportunities for growth in the UK and Europe,” commented Alan Jones, Gioteck General Manager.
Colin Woodley, business manager at gaming monitor brand Eizo, also believes the PC gaming market is on the up, with the firm’s R&D team in Japan excited by potential growth. The company is pushing its Foris FS2333 monitor (pictured) in the UK.
However, Nordic Games believes the PC gaming sector could quieten down briefly around the launch of next-gen consoles.
“It would be reasonable to expect some diversion from PC games who are also early console adopters, but we would anticipate this to appear as a blip as opposed to any long-term change,” Nik Blower, PR, marketing and franchise director, told PCR.
“The outlook for PC gamers is very good – from our point of view there is no bubble to burst.”