October 21, 2017

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HOME NEWS Analysis › European PC gaming market climbs 23% in second quarter

European PC gaming market climbs 23% in second quarter

by Stuart Wilson, Tuesday 10 October 2017

HP Omen gaming laptop
HP Omen gaming laptop

Europe’s PC gaming market sales grew 23% year-on-year in the second quarter of 2017, as enthusiasts sought out high performance and premium branded systems, according to market analyst CONTEXT.

"Those that claim that PC gaming is dead have been proven wrong once again,” said Biggles Bristol, PC gaming and VR consultant at CONTEXT. "While the current generation of consoles awkwardly ‘refresh; themselves, gaming PCs are going from strength to strength as vendors capitalise on the higher margins better specified PCs can bring."

HP and Dell have benefited from the comparatively high-margin sector, while mainstream consumers continue to favour entry-level desktops and notebooks, shrinking profits. HP’s Omen is now the number one brand for OEM systems, while both it and Dell Alienware’s share of the high-end enthusiast and VR-ready categories more than doubled, from 6% in the first half of last year to 15% in the first half of 2017, according to CONTEXT.

Graphics cards (GPUs) are another area seeing a strong uptick in interest: sales were up 35.7% year-on-year in the second quarter, while VR-ready GPU sales soared more than doubled over the same period, driven by interest from gamers and crypto miners. Distributor average selling price (ASP) jumped by 27% year-on-year in the period as gamers showed they were prepared to invest in powerful GPUs to boost performance.

The growth of VR has thus far been held back by the high price-tag for associated hardware and a wait-and-see approach from software developers, according to CONTEXT. The ASP for a VR-ready PC with VR headset in the second quarter of 2017 was €1840 (US$2168), while software development has been sluggish due in part to slow take-up of the technology.

This vicious circle may soon be broken if the cost of VR headsets reduces. CONTEXT consumer survey data indicates that new introductory price points of around €400 (US$471) could triple the high-end VR headset market. This could help create a virtuous circle for gamers, vendors and publishers and give the sector a major push.

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