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Description

Description

Covered in this report

This report focuses on video gameplay on desktop and laptop computers. Mintel defines these devices as such:

  • Desktop computer: A personal computer that includes a peripheral monitor, keyboard and mouse and is meant to be used on a desk or table.
  • Laptop computer: A portable personal computer that has the monitor and keyboard built into the unit and is typically operated with a trackpad, although it may also be used with a mouse.

Tablet computers are not included in this report but will be covered in Mobile Gaming – US, October 2020. Readers of this report may also be interested in other titles from Mintel’s Sports and Gaming library, including Gaming Trends: 2020 – US, December 2019 and Dedicated Gaming Consoles – US, February 2020.

"From older casual gamers playing simple card games on their home computers to younger gamers investing in dedicated gaming hardware, the PC gaming audience encompasses a vast array of interests. A lack of brand loyalty, coupled with a desire to optimize the gaming experience, makes PC gamers an important audience to understand for all brands active in (and looking to enter) the gaming space."

- John Poelking, Senior Gaming Analyst

This report will look at the following areas:

  • Powerful machines needed for a great gaming experience
  • PC gamers improve performance with accessories
  • Reputation matters to PC gamers
  • PC gamers invest in a larger library of games

What's included

What's included

Table of contents

Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • PC gaming overview
          • Figure 1: PC gamer overview, November 2019
        • Top takeaways
          • Key trends
            • Powerful machines needed for a great gaming experience
              • Figure 2: PC hardware priorities, November 2019
            • PC gamers improve performance with accessories
              • Figure 3: Gaming accessories ownership and interest, November 2019
            • Reputation matters to PC gamers
              • Figure 4: Perceptions of and experience playing games from different developers, November 2019
            • PC gamers invest in a larger library of games
              • Figure 5: Playing different games at a time, all gamers vs computer gamers, November 2019
            • What it means
            • The Market – What You Need to Know

              • PCs falling on hard times…
                • …but the US gaming audience is growing
                  • Growth in other sectors hurts PC gaming
                  • The PC Market

                    • Declining computer sales can hurt PC gaming
                      • Figure 6: Total US retail unit sales and forecast of PCs (desktop and laptop computers), 2014-24
                      • Figure 7: Total US retail unit sales and forecast of PCs (desktop and laptop computers), 2014-24
                    • PC game sales fall sharply amidst free-to-play revolution
                      • Figure 8: Total US computer video game sales, 2014-18
                  • The US Gamer: Who They Are and How They Play

                    • Who are gamers? Not just young men
                      • Figure 9: Profile of US gamer, by key demographics, November 2019
                    • Nearly half play on smartphones; about one third on PCs
                      • Figure 10: Gaming devices, November 2019
                    • Three quarters of gamers play at least a few times a week
                      • Figure 11: Frequency of gaming and weekly hours, November 2019
                    • Most gamers play casually
                      • Figure 12: Reasons to play video games, November 2019
                    • Puzzle and card games get the biggest audience
                      • Figure 13: Favorite gaming genres ranked, October 2019
                  • Market Factors

                    • 5G and the proliferation of mobile devices
                      • Figure 14: Mobile device ownership, May 2018 and August 209
                    • Trade war may have an impact on gaming hardware
                    • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                      • PC manufacturers fighting for the average computer gamer
                        • Working toward more versatile online gameplay
                          • Brands fight back against market regression
                            • Technology attempts to catch up to consumer expectations
                            • Gaming PCs: Types, Operating Systems and Brands

                              • Laptop and desktop gamers make up nearly even share of the market
                                  • Figure 15: Type of computer for playing video games, November 2019
                                • Three quarters of PC gamers use a Windows OS
                                  • Figure 16: Operating systems used for gaming, November 2019
                                • Crowded hardware market led by HP and Dell
                                  • Figure 17: Gaming computer manufacturers, November 2019
                              • What’s Working

                                • Online stores gaining steam
                                  • Figure 18: Awareness and interest in online game stores, October 2019
                                • Versatility for the casual and competitive gamers
                                  • Improving the free-to-play experience
                                  • What’s Struggling

                                    • Decline in household desktop ownership
                                      • Figure 19: Household ownership of desktop and laptop computers, 2015-19
                                    • Getting games ready for PCs
                                      • Curbing harassment in the online community
                                        • Figure 20: Harassment in gaming, October 2019
                                    • What to Watch

                                      • The impact of cloud gaming on computers
                                        • Figure 21: Awareness and interest in cloud gaming services, October 2019
                                      • Bumping up the resolution on monitors
                                        • Improved haptic feedback to immerse PC gamers
                                          • Incorporating the viewing experience into gameplay
                                            • Combining the console and PC experience
                                            • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                              • Look under the hood for the best hardware
                                                • Investment in gaming PCs will come from the people already using them
                                                  • Take heed of hardware advice
                                                    • Accessories enhance gameplay
                                                      • Find the gaming genres associated with PC gaming
                                                        • Familiarity makes new games more appealing
                                                          • A developer’s reputation matters
                                                            • PC gamers want more diversity and better hardware
                                                              • The best gameplay experience can be anywhere
                                                              • PC Hardware Priorities

                                                                • Power over pizzazz
                                                                  • Figure 22: PC hardware priorities, November 2019
                                                                • Young PC gamers want the works
                                                                  • Figure 23: PC hardware priorities, by age, November 2019
                                                                • Desktop gamers expect more from machines
                                                                  • Figure 24: Computer hardware priorities, by type of computer, November 2019
                                                                • Feature priorities differ by brand ownership
                                                                  • Figure 25: PC hardware priorities, by computer manufacturer, November 2019
                                                              • Gaming PC Purchase Intent

                                                                • PC gamers have plans to buy
                                                                  • Figure 26: Gaming PC purchase intent, November 2019
                                                                • Desktop gamers more likely to invest in laptops, but not vice versa
                                                                  • Figure 27: Gaming PC purchase intent, by type of computer, November 2019
                                                              • Gaming Hardware Purchase Influencers

                                                                • PC gamers check more sources
                                                                  • Figure 28: Reasons to buy gaming hardware, November 2019
                                                                • Desktop gamers look to reviews, while laptops look to influencers
                                                                  • Figure 29: Reasons to buy gaming hardware, by type of computer, November 2019
                                                              • Gaming Accessories

                                                                • PC gamers need custom control
                                                                  • Figure 30: Gaming accessories ownership and interest – Controls, November 2019
                                                                • Bringing comfort and style
                                                                  • Figure 31: Gaming accessories ownership and interest – Peripherals, November 2019
                                                                • Adding on to the gaming experience
                                                                  • Figure 32: Gaming accessories ownership and interest – External storage and screens, November 2019
                                                                • Competitive gamers maintain control by updating accessories
                                                                  • Figure 33: Gaming control replacements, by gamer segments, November 2019
                                                              • Gaming Genres and Devices

                                                                  • Gamers associate laptops and desktops with similar genres
                                                                    • Figure 34: Correspondence analysis – Symmetrical map – Perceptions of gaming devices, November 2019
                                                                • Reasons to Play a New Game

                                                                  • PC gamers look for outside opinions on games
                                                                    • Figure 35: Reasons to play a new game, November 2019
                                                                  • Competitors and social gamers want different types of messages
                                                                    • Figure 36: Reasons to play a new game, by gamer segments, November 2019
                                                                • Perceptions of Game Developers

                                                                  • A game’s reputation matters
                                                                    • Figure 37: Attitudes toward game reputations, November 2019
                                                                  • Familiarity breeds appreciation
                                                                    • Everybody loves Nintendo
                                                                      • Relevance leads to success for other big developers
                                                                        • Spotlight: independent developers
                                                                          • Figure 38: Perceptions of and experience playing games from different developers, November 2019
                                                                        • PC gamers play games from a variety of developers
                                                                          • Figure 39: Number of developers played, November 2019
                                                                        • Biggest gaps in play highlight PC advantages
                                                                          • Figure 40: Experience playing games from different developers, all gamers vs PC gamers, November 2019
                                                                      • PC Gaming Behaviors and Preferences

                                                                        • PC gamers more likely to play a larger library of games
                                                                          • Figure 41: Playing different games at a time and free vs paid, all gamers vs computer gamers, November 2019
                                                                        • Younger generations of PC gamers looking to subscriptions
                                                                          • Figure 42: Paying per game and subscriptions, by generation, November 2019
                                                                        • Gaming device loyalty up for grabs, PC gamers want the best hardware
                                                                          • Figure 43: Hardware importance and gaming device loyalty, all gamers vs computer gamers, November 2019
                                                                      • Attitudes toward Gaming

                                                                        • PC gamers are open to cloud gaming
                                                                          • Figure 44: Attitudes toward cloud and mobile gaming, November 2019
                                                                        • Enhancing the gaming experience through new devices
                                                                          • Figure 45: Attitudes toward gaming accessories and devices, November 2019
                                                                        • Isolation can be part of the gaming experience
                                                                          • Figure 46: Attitudes toward gaming community and isolation, November 2019
                                                                        • Apple gamers welcome the future
                                                                          • Figure 47: Attitudes toward devices and cloud gaming, by gaming computer manufacturer, November 2019
                                                                        • Desktop gamers need the best
                                                                          • Figure 48: Attitudes toward devices, by type of computer, November 2019
                                                                      • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                        • Data sources
                                                                          • Sales data
                                                                            • Fan chart forecast
                                                                              • Consumer survey data
                                                                                • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                                  • Abbreviations
                                                                                    • Terms
                                                                                    • Appendix – The Consumer

                                                                                        • Figure 49: Perceptions of and experience playing games from different developers – Table, November 2019
                                                                                    • Appendix – Correspondence Analysis

                                                                                      • Methodology
                                                                                        • Figure 50: Correspondence analysis – Principal map – Perceptions of gaming devices, November 2019
                                                                                        • Figure 51: Perceptions of gaming devices, November 2019
                                                                                        • Figure 52: Correspondence analysis – Symmetrical map – Perceptions of gaming devices among PC gamers, November 2019
                                                                                        • Figure 53: Correspondence analysis – Principal map – Perceptions of gaming devices among PC gamers, November 2019
                                                                                        • Figure 54: Perceptions of gaming devices among PC gamers, November 2019

                                                                                    This market report provides in-depth analysis and insight supported by a range of data. At the same time, introductory and top-level content is provided to give you an overview of the issues covered.

                                                                                    • Market

                                                                                      Mintel provides a range of market information, frequently through the category level, including market size and forecasting, complete with market drivers that illustrate the forces that shape a category or market.

                                                                                    • Consumer

                                                                                      Mintel's proprietary consumer research provides our analysts with the attitudinal and behavioral data used to provide valuable insight to topical issues.

                                                                                    • Brand/Company

                                                                                      Mintel provides overviews of the top brands and manufacturers, and uses consumer research to explore attitudes and reactions to brands, as well as insight into what will resonate with consumers.

                                                                                    • Data

                                                                                      Market reports provide appendices of data to support the research and insight produced. Our tables of data are easily manipulated and downloadable to support your research needs and covers factors from consumer attitudes to market forecasts.

                                                                                    Please Note: This is a sample report. All of the figures, graphs, and tables have been redacted.

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