So, is PC gaming dying? Is it finally getting buried six feet under? Did Thanos perhaps snap it out of existence?
Short answer: no.
Long answer: PC gaming isn’t dying, it’s actually growing. And here’s what’s going on right now…
Gaming as a whole has been growing year after year. Since 2012 profits in the gaming industry have doubled, earning a staggering 138Bn in 2018. For comparison, the movie industry made 136Bn in 2018.
And while mobile gaming is taking an increasingly large percentage of the total profits, both PC gaming and console gaming profits are still growing. To illustrate, PC gaming earned 26.1Bn in 2012 and 33.4Bn in 2018.
This could be due to the rise of new phenomenons like Fortnite and the continued dominance of giants like League of Legends. But the main reason is that each of the three platforms is for different kinds of gamers.
Mobile gaming is more casual. The games are simple to download, play, and enjoy on any modern mobile device. But the main benefit here is you can play them practically anywhere. At home, at school, on the bus, or while waiting in line.
That being said, there’s a massive crowd of mobile gamers that eclipses both PC and console gamers combined. But in most cases, the people playing mobile games don’t care about any other platform.
Console gaming is a streamlined entryway into more serious gaming. Basically, consoles are for people who want to play amazing games but don’t want to tinker with the hardware and configuration too much.
In the past, consoles were magical boxes where you could pop in a cartridge or CD and have hours of fun. But now they’re a little more than custom-built PCs with custom Operating Systems and Sales Platforms.
You can change and upgrade parts as you would in a PC, but you don’t actually need to (and can’t) configure anything – games are optimized for their respective consoles. And let’s not forget the comfiness of playing on a couch.
But regardless of all the benefits, console gaming will probably die way before the other two. Why? As we can already see with PlayStation Now, console gaming is expected to be a completely cloud-based streaming service in the future, requiring only a TV or a PC.
PC gaming is the hobby of our glorious master race. (I’m kidding, of course…or am I?) Since its inception, it has offered the most customizability, configuration, and graphical fidelity. And in terms of pure hardware, PC gaming can be the biggest money sink of them all. But the keywords here are can be.
If you want to assemble a decent gaming PC comparable to the current generation consoles (PS4, Xbox One), $500 is enough. But the funny part is, most new smartphones exceed this price tag.
And despite the steeper initial hardware costs, you’ll also save money on PC games. There are more deals, offers, and discounts across many digital distribution platforms. And due to competition between them, prices go down. Whereas for consoles, their digital stores exist in a self-contained bubble. So the prices are higher overall due to this monopoly.
Additionally, most console games require a monthly subscription to play online. Whereas Steam the online functionality is free. And this difference adds up over time. To name a few, GTA 5 and Monster Hunter World.
There’s also the backward compatibility on EVERYTHING. Not just old PC games, you can also play old console games via emulators. And you can even use an appropriate USB joypad to make it more authentic.
You can also gradually upgrade separate parts of a PC to play newer games. But once a new console generation comes out, you can only buy an entirely new console. So your old games and console will collect dust.
Not to mention, some games feel better to play with a keyboard and a mouse. For example, first-person shooters. There’s a vastly increased sense of control and accuracy you won’t get from aim-assisted controller gameplay.
And some game genres won’t straight up work without a mouse and keyboard. Like strategy games or MMORPGs. Basically, any game that has more actions than you can map to a single controller. It simply offers a deeper level complexity some games are really fond of.
But even without all these benefits, PC gaming will survive as long as people use PCs or laptops. Why? People will always look for ways to kill time. And if you have a PC for work, you’ll inevitably watch a movie or install a game or two on it.
What do you think?
These are mostly facts drowned in my opinion, so don’t take it as the absolute truth out there. That aside, what do you think? Is PC gaming dying, is it growing, is it stagnating, is it infested by politics, or is there something else entirely going on? Let me know in the comments below!