Are gaming PC companies taking over Hollywood? For many people, the movie industry has long been seen as the gold standard when it comes to generating revenue in the entertainment industry. However, even before the regulations related to the COVID-19 pandemic that is now limiting the gathering of large groups, Hollywood was in deep trouble. The studios seemed to be facing a perfect storm. Not only were inline providers like Netflix and Amazon stealing their lunch and producing world-class entertainment, but they also faced increasing competition from studios in Asia. Adding to the woes of these studios was the gaming industry. Increasing technological sophistication and the ever more value for money offerings from video game computers made it all but certain that home entertainment was the wave of the future. After all, why put up with the sticky floors and insanely high concession prices at a movie theatre when you could be enjoying a comparable – or increasingly superior experience in the comfort of your own home?
However, is the frenzy simply a flash in the pan – or are there solid statistics to back up the increasingly strident claims of software games developers (and the manufacturers of specialized PC’s) that playing online is a trend that is revolutionizing home entertainment?
The stats do seem to back up the claim. According to Newzoo, a specialized research company offering insight into the global video game industry the growth is set to be nothing short of staggering, at least as far as revenue is concerned. The company estimates that gamers (all 2.7 billion of them across the globe) are going to spend in the region of $159.3 Billion in 2020. The growth of that market is forecast to be robust (to say the least with an estimate of a global spend of around $200 Billion in 2023.
Of course, the launch of the latest generation of consoles and the legacy boxes will all contribute significantly to these figures, but those who think that computer games are losing ground are, to put it mildly, mistaken. The video game market is driven by 1.3 billion players, and the interesting thing is that the growth of the market (estimated to be around 4.8% year-on-year for the foreseeable future) is not dependant on new releases. Some of the most popular games have been around (in various guises) for about three years. So the computer brands know that their market is not subject to the swings that can be caused by the flavor of the month as far as releases are concerned.
However, that said, the demand for new machines will remain robust, in part due to increased processing power – and the ability of even some legacy games to benefit from higher speeds (especially in the online environment) and increased graphics capabilities. Of course, this does not even begin to take into account some of the ‘Giant Killer’ releases that will find their way onto the personal computer market. Another reason to believe that those computer brands who bring machines to market that are squarely aimed at the enthusiast are the reason the market has been able to migrate to digital far more quickly than the console market. The buyer of a specialized desktop is less worried about physical media than the console user – and so are the manufacturers.
The impact of ‘free to play’ (theoretically) games such as League of Legends, Call of Duty: Warzone, Fortnite, Call of Duty: Warzone and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive should also not be ignored when it comes to trends that are driving sales of high-end machines. The increasing audiences who are online to view E-sports (competitive video game sport) are also contributing to sales of these PCs. The ever-growing purses (and online gambling on results) are also two factors that should be taken into account when it comes to evaluating the robustness of pre-built sales.
So who is leading the pack when it comes to gaming PCs? The ever-evolving nature of the industry can make it challenging to keep track. However, there are some brands that stand head and shoulders above the rest – and have the track record to indicate that they are not going anywhere soon.
One of these leaders is, Alienware. The launch of the Alienware Aurora R9 in the first half of 2020 was eagerly anticipated and the company did not disappoint. As far as aesthetics, it looks appealing until you touch the plastic case. The 9th generation Intel Core i7 9700K processor and graphics processing supplied by the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super graphics card certainly didn’t hurt.
Dell is also building a solid following based on value for money. The Dell G5 may not be the best-looking desktop setup in the world – but for under $1,000 you will not be complaining. With an Intel Core i7-9700 CPU and the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 most gamers will be more than happy.
On the desktop front, other offerings like the Corsair Vengeance 5182, the HP OMEN Obelisk (the HP Pavilion is no slouch) and the sometimes overlooked CyberpowerPC offerings are all worth a look.
On the laptop front, the Asus ROG ‘Zephyrus G14’ has been called the best gaming laptop around, the Razer Blade 15 gets a look in and Alienware has numerous offerings that keep them at or close to the top of the pile as far as ‘portables’ are concerned. The Lenovo Legion is also up there with the best.
Just glancing at the list two things become immediately apparent. The first is that trusted names remain trusted. The second is that the market remains incredibly robust. This leaves room for the young players in the market. Skytech is here to take over.
According to DFC Intelligence (another globally recognized research house), the global market for PC games (in the short term) will grow to $37bn – by 2022. This analysis has the beauty of not peering as deeply into the crystal ball as long term forecasting. It does indicate however that the market for PC gaming – and thus the cutting edge produced by brands that young creatives will gravitate to, will remain incredibly robust and resilient for the foreseeable future.