The rise of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, combined with the still strong performance of the Xbox360 and PS3, and the constant announcements and surrounding these consoles has created a situation in which these consoles are the de facto gaming leaders. It is easy to fall into this sort of fallacy. The unrelenting barrage of commercials and blog posts about this game or that game make it easy to anoint these consoles as the top gaming mediums. However, some recent reports bring the validity of console dominance into question.
PCR – a home and business computing sector trade publication – recently published a surprising report on the state of the gaming industry. David Cole – the owner of DFC Intelligence, a video game market research company – told PCR that, “On a global basis PC games have surpassed console games [in terms of revenue] but the new console systems means consoles should show an increase.”1 Cole continued:
Among core gamers there is a heavy overlap with most console gamers also playing on a PC. The big difference is that consoles are now the luxury item and PCs are the necessity. Just a few years ago the reverse was true. This means PCs have the broader audience…PC player hours have also been remarkably consistent. We had expected hours to fall in 2013 because there were not any major new releases. However, hours were actually flat with 2012 which bodes very well for the market going forward as more triple-A titles are released.2
PC gaming growth, Cole argued, is being driven by Massive Online Battle Arena (MOBA) games like League of Legends and Dota 2. However, though MOBAs are driving the growth, other gaming segments, particularly MMO, strategy and first person shooters, are quite strong as well. It seems that the reports of the PCs demise are premature.