Train2Game News PC Gaming Hardware breaches $30 Billion

Jon Peddie Research (JPR), the leading research and consulting firm for graphics and multimedia, today announced that the global PC Gaming Hardware market has breached the $30 billion mark for the first time.
Comprised of pre and DIY built gaming computers, upgrades, and accessories such as displays, input devices and audio systems, the market exceeded $30 billion in 2016 and is forecast to grow at a 6% CAGR through 2019.

Due to an entrenched PC gaming culture, large population, and lack of significant console traction, the Asia Pacific Region leads the world in both growth and market size with a forecasted 7% CAGR to 2019 from a value of almost $11.3 billion in 2016. India claims the largest growth rate in Entry-Level (sub $1000) and is forecast for an eye watering 28% CAGR; breaking through the billion mark across all segments in the next few years.  North America and Western Europe both individually lead Asia Pacific for High-End gaming systems (over $1800). Germany is forecast to enjoy impressive growth in High-End, reaching $1.6 billion in sales in 2019 and Russian gamers are forecast to consume Mid-Range Hardware at an 8.65% CAGR through 2019.

Ted Pollak, Senior Game Industry Analyst for JPR said, “Consumers continue to embrace the PC for video games due to multiple factors. The desktop ergonomic is popular because of superior detail using most HD and UHD monitors, and unrivaled control with mouse and keyboard interface. This has been validated with eSports overwhelmingly being played on PCs. Additionally, product designers have created thousands of options for complete customization from a functionally and aesthetic perspective. Examples include dedicated driving and flight systems, multi-display setups, and a wide selection of notebooks ranging from desktop substitutes to innovative ‘thin and light’ offerings. Liquid cooling, advanced PSUs, SSDs, genre specific gaming mice, mechanical keyboards, notebook graphics amplifiers and Xbox accessory compatibility offer gamers more choices than they have ever had.”

Jon Peddie, President of JPR, said, “PC gaming is so successful because it allows all levels of customers to participate including those with lower budgets. Nvidia and AMD are not ignoring this opportunity, and offerings like the GTX 1050 bring powerful graphics processing for around $120. We are very excited about the prospects for the AMD Ryzen CPU platform and think it will be adopted at all three hardware tiers. Of course Intel CPUs currently offer amazing performance for gamers of every budget level and their integrated graphics can rival game consoles.”

Nevertheless, a key phenomena JPR observes is that the ranks of PC gamers are growing in the Mid and High-End where ASPs are high. Also the average PC sale is increasingly motivated by the video game use model, which is important to understand in a stagnant or declining overall PC market. As basic computing functions become more entrenched with mobile devices, the PC ultimately becomes a power user’s tool. Whether for gaming, photo and video editing, content creation, etc.

The Worldwide PC Gaming Hardware Market report series by Jon Peddie Research covers 33 countries, notebooks and desktops, DIY, and accessories. It is released twice a year in three segments: Entry-Level, Mid-Range, and High-End.

Train2Game News: Valve Steam Machine specs

ValveValve has confirmed the specifications of its Steam Machine prototype boxes, which will be sent out later this year.

300 of the devices will be sent to testers in a closed hardware beta, and will include the also-announced Steam Controller.

“The prototype machine is a high-end, high-performance box, built out of off-the-shelf PC parts,” said Valve in a statement.

“It is also fully upgradable, allowing any user to swap out the GPU, hard drive, CPU, even the motherboard if you really want to.”

“Apart from the custom enclosure, anyone can go and build exactly the same machine by shopping for components and assembling it themselves. And we expect that at least a few people will do just that.”

All of the “high-end, high-performance” boxes will run Valve’s Linux-based SteamOS operating system, but the cases will be made by a variety of manufacturers.

Valve’s list of the internal components of the Machines is as follows:

•    GPU: Some units with NVidia Titan, some GTX780, some GTX760, and some GTX660

•    CPU: Some boxes with Intel i7-4770, some i5-4570, and some i3

•    RAM: 16GB DDR3-1600 (CPU), 3GB DDR5 (GPU)

•    Storage: 1TB/8GB Hybrid SSHD

•    Power Supply: Internal 450w 80Plus Gold

•    Dimensions: Approx. 12×12.4×2.9-inches high

“This design is not meant to serve the needs of all of the tens of millions of Steam users,” added Valve on the details.

“It may, however, be the kind of machine that a significant percentage of Steam users would actually want to purchase – those who want plenty of performance in a high-end living room package”

“Many others would opt for machines that have been more carefully designed to cost less, or to be tiny, or super quiet, and there will be Steam Machines that fit those descriptions.”

Train2Game News: Cheap(er) Raspberry Pi now available

Raspberry Pi Model B

Raspberry Pi Model B

The Train2Game News team is a big fan of the Raspberry Pi computer and now the cheapest computer on the market has an even cheaper version.

A new lite version has released and will cost £16. The Model A is a stripped-down version of the Model B Raspberry Pi, which launched late last year. The lite version has no Ethernet, one USB port and 256MB RAM.

As well as being cheaper than the Model B, the Model A consumes roughly a third of the power of the B, which is useful for those wanting to run projects from a battery or solar power, such as robots, sensor platforms, Wi-Fi repeaters and so on. The Raspberry Pi Foundation is already working on software to get its power consumption even lower.

The microcomputer is getting its general roll out this year, following a well-received reception from early adaptors.

The Model A will only be available in Europe for now, and can be purchase from suppliers RS Components and Farnell. This restriction is due to be lift soon so the rest of the world can order it as well.

RS customers outside Europe can order a Model A now, but there will be a short delay in processing orders, while paperwork is sorted before the devices can be shipped. Farnell customers outside Europe will see the Model A appear on their local sites when this paperwork has been filled.

The Raspberry Pi can be purchased here.

Train2Game News: Valve looking to create virtual reality glasses

A New York Times interview reveals the hardware Valve has been working on is not a console but virtual reality glasses.

Last week it came to light that Valve were working on hardware for the games industry. Some speculated that they were heading into the console market with a device similar to that of OnLive. Valve addressed the rumours by saying they were more interested in computer input devices instead.

In an interview this morning with Nick Wingfield at The New York Times, Valve revealed its plans for the virtual reality glasses. They were quick to point out that the glasses, or games using the hardware, wouldn’t be hitting the market any time soon.

Valve’s Michael Abrash said “credible augmented-reality games could be three to five years away, though… virtual reality glasses would arrive sooner.”

Valve also expressed an interest in sharing what they have learned with other manufacturers whilst working toward the VR glasses. Valve may not be the one to release them but they certainly want to help move things forward.

The fact that they want to help other companies to develop the glasses shows that they just want to see the games industry move forward to bigger and better things.

It is still not confirmed whether the glasses will work on their own or need a computer to run.

This is a very exciting prospect and will open up games developers to a whole new world of ideas and possibilities.