The latest update to the IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Gaming Tracker, which traces and makes predictions on global gaming-related sales, refreshed last week. The forecast revealed that gaming PCs (a category which includes both desktops and laptops) and gaming monitors are expected to possess five-year compound annual growth rates (CAGRs) of 4.8 percent and 13.2 percent between 2020 and 2025. The second quarter of 2021 alone saw a 19.3 percent increase in both categories.
Global interest in gaming hardware has been rapidly increasing since 2020, hitting a record high in March. Pandemic-induced boredom brought in more novice gaming enthusiasts, while those who were already versed in the gaming world may have had an easier time swallowing the hefty cost of a piece of hardware given the cancellation of traveling and nights out on the town. For the first time, North America and Western Europe together overtook Asia and the Pacific as the largest market for gaming PCs and monitors. Shipments of gaming hardware ballooned to 55 million units in 2020—a 26.9 percent increase from 2019.
It may also be the case that more people are in the market for computer monitors in the first place. As a significant portion of the global workforce goes remote, more and more companies are offering their employees “work-from-home stipends,” or the option to have home office expenses reimbursed up to a certain dollar amount. Reimbursable expenses are typically limited to things like keyboards, desks, office chairs, and computer monitors, and when you suddenly have several hundred dollars to spend on office equipment, it’s hard not to splurge on something that’ll work well after-hours, too. It’s kind of similar to the pandemic’s desk shortage, but more fun.
Now the IDC predicts the combined gaming PC and monitor markets will burst from $43 billion on 2020 to over $60 billion in 2025. Despite a massive components shortage that’s rendered GPUs and other PC parts nearly impossible for the average person to acquire, gaming is an interest expected to gain traction Katamari-style over the next few years.
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