PC Gaming Is Growing Faster Than Consoles, Data Shows

PC Gaming Is Growing Faster Than Consoles, Data Shows

Last year saw the release of some really big and highly-rated video games. However, new data shows that PC gaming was the biggest winner in 2023, while console revenue mostly flatlined and mobile game profits dropped.

A recently released report from market researchers at Newzoo revealed that compared to 2022, 2023 was a “recovery year” for the game industry, with most profits across most platforms back up to normal after the pandemic-based rise and fall of a few years ago. However, the platform that recovered the most and saw the biggest increase in revenue was traditional PC gaming.

In Newzoo’s report, PC game sales, microtransactions, and other digital purchases grew 8.4 per cent in 2023 compared to 2022. That’s pretty good alone, but compared to other platforms, it’s even more impressive. During that same time period, consoles only saw a 0.3 per cent increase, and mobile gaming shrank by about 2 per cent.

It should be noted that mobile and console gaming profits are still bigger overall than PC, with Newzoo estimating that 2023’s total mobile gaming revenue landed at around $US89.9 billion and consoles were at $US52.4 billion. Meanwhile, in 2023, PC gaming was “only” hovering around $US39 billion.

“PC revenues from publicly listed companies were up nearly 9% year over year,” reported Newzoo. The market research firm attributes PC gaming’s growth in 2023 to publishers embracing the platform.

“On the private company side, Valve, Epic Games, and miHoYo showed strong performances. We also saw that successful gaming companies pursuing cross-platform strategies acted as a beneficial catalyst for the PC market,” explained Newzoo.

Will anybody want a PlayStation 6 or next-gen Xbox?

This new report is more evidence of something that’s seemed obvious over the last few years or so: Consoles are becoming less important.

As modern video game consoles evolve more and more into mini-PCs, supporting mods, keyboards, and crossplay, the reason to buy consoles is becoming less and less clear. It doesn’t help that Sony and Microsoft seem unable to ship as many big console exclusives as before. And both companies are more willing than ever to place their big games on PC. Helldivers 2 shows that this strategy can be a huge game-changer and help increase game sales and player numbers.

While I don’t think consoles are going away anytime soon, the reality is that the most played games today are older titles. As a result, many players are less likely to invest in the next generation of Xbox or PlayStation. Why should they? Fortnite runs fine on a PS4 Pro.

So sure, consoles aren’t going away tomorrow, but in a few years as cloud streaming becomes more popular, phones become more powerful, portable PCs (like the Steam Deck) become more affordable, and everything supports cross-progression, it’s going to be much harder to sell folks on a theoretical PlayStation 6 that might one day get a new God of War.

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