PC games are booming right now, but where do we go from here?

PC games have a turbulent history. It gained popularity after the 1983 video game crash, an event caused by excess console and shoddy games, and regained popularity in the 1990s thanks to the resurgence of the original Sony PlayStation consoles and Nintendo 64. However, PC games have managed to regain a stable position in the expected constantly growing global market.

If you can’t get in touch and want to know what is currently considered “cool,” ask your child what they want to be when they grow up. Twenty years ago you could get answers like football players, actors or paleontologists in my case. Looking back, it’s not hard to see why. Popular athletes were filled with almost any marketable product, and dinosaurs were hotly bought (digital) by cutting-edge CGI on televisions and big screens.

But in my life I have seen the answers to this question change drastically (thanks to my small tribe of younger brothers), and to the usual mainstream of doctors, athletes and scientists. The answers still appear in the survey, but children are increasingly likely to pursue careers as a professional gamer, YouTuber, or streamer. The latter two aren’t necessarily just for games, but popular streaming and game influencers like Markiplier, Dream, and Ninja are kids who want to watch content and, of course, emulate heroes. I grab our hearts.

(Image credit: ESPN)

In fact, these days you’ll see the world go head to head when it comes to video games, especially when the PC gaming community is involved. The game, from politicians like Alexandria Ocasio Cortez playing Among Us on some of Twitch’s biggest streamers to recording actor Henry Cavill building his platform. The exclusive and expensive world of PCs and laptops is gaining new members every day.

This is not the only reason that PC games have exploded in popularity in recent years, but it is likely to play a role, and the demand for computer hardware is undeniable. According to a report released by Jon Peddie Research in 2020, the PC gaming hardware market will grow from $ 3.6 billion to $ 36.9 billion by the end of last year. Not only has it achieved this goal, but despite the continued shortage of equipment and the global Covid-19 pandemic, a new estimate of $ 45.6 billion is expected by the end of 2021.

We’ve come a long way since the release of games like the original Microsoft Flight Simulator in 1982. The 2020 version of the flight simulation game looks horribly hyperrealistic. Esports tournaments are filling the arena, and virtual reality chat rooms are live. It’s hard to imagine where PC games can go from here.

All the work and all the play

Good PC gaming team throwing their hands in the air

(Image credit: Shutterstcok / Friends Stock)

We spoke with James Jones of EMEA Alienware & Dell Gaming Manager about the rise of PC gaming and the future of the industry. Alienware has been a well-known brand in the gaming community since its inception in 1996, and was notably purchased by computer giant Dell in 2006.

Using only my personal experience, it seems that many people are drawn to purchasing PCs and gaming laptops when working from home during a pandemic. Has Dell Alienware seen a similar model of PC gaming invade such a large market?

“We’re seeing more of it, especially in entrepreneurial businesses and the self-employed. They are looking for alternative devices because the current state of typical office systems does not always represent their brand. More and more, RGB game consoles ranging from flashy designs to the more delicate have a preference for them. Small businesses that look at gaming products, ”says Jones. “Over the past 18 months, we’ve grown not only in PC purchases, but also in games. I think the important thing that we get out of that is the pandemic and the telecommute / stay at home order. Traditionally. Escape not only for gamers but also for the general public.

“It also gives young people and students the opportunity to collaborate and communicate while they are trapped in their homes and unable to get out. To give a personal example, my son is 15 years old. It’s clear that you love to stay home, but the ability to log in and forget about school and daily chores while playing games with friends is pretty much the same. They are practically the same. , I think a lot of people who are new to the game or who have never experienced the game before have tried it.

It’s the biggest trend, and I think the ability to escape, communicate, and collaborate, not just those who just want to play games, has contributed to this surge. When it comes to the types of games people play, they are mostly about collaboration and teamwork, not isolated offline games. “

Everyone does

Henry Cavill builds a gaming PC

(Image credit: Henry Cavill)

Interestingly, the demand for PC games has increased dramatically, despite continued component shortages and cost differences with the new generation of consoles. What do you think is the driving force behind this?

“Laptops grow with the evolution of technology, and increasingly shrinking internal components make the new system lighter and thinner than ever,” Jones says. -Growth from year to year, and it happened because you couldn’t physically go. We talked to the players and asked them what their top priorities were, and most said experience.

“The desktop allows us to add a larger screen (which is booming in popularity) so that we can watch or stream content while playing games. We use it for streaming as well as for games. Yes, there are a lot of crosses with at the moment. Also, given the cost of gaming hardware, people who can usually buy a high-end laptop or gaming PC also own a console, so it’s not necessarily exclusive. You can see that it is not. “

Do you think celebrities and influencers are contributing to this growing popularity? Esports stars like Team Liquid clearly come to mind, but even actors like Henry Cavill are well known in the PC gaming scene.

“The perception of who the player is has changed,” agrees Jones. “And that’s good because there are so many famous sports stars and personalities who use the game. After that, reach out to viewers who may not have experienced the game, or It’s positive to get the idea that it’s not just about flashing lights and shooting young men in a dark room, but also about being inclusive. “

Some well-known athletes are said to own gaming PCs. Tyrone Mings, a soccer player in England and Aston Villa, said: I still use the controller, but in the end I can take the plunge and head to keyboard and mouse and combine them with the right elite. Warzone is all about those milliseconds and those fine margins, giving Alienware PCs an edge when carrying a team. The graphics are a joke. You can see everything clearly and quickly. “

Toxicity is still prevalent

Upset player with his head in hand

(Image credit: Shutterstock / Monkey Business Images)

It’s great to see influencers for PC games that aren’t similar to The Simpsons’ Comic Book Guy, but there’s still a lot to do. In my own experience as a woman who grew up exposed to the gaming community, there are barriers that cause understandable hesitation for girls, POCs, and LGBTQ + people.

I love PC games, but it’s not without community issues, especially when it comes to toxicity. Is Dell doing anything to make PC gaming a more complete space, or are you planning to do so in the future?

Jones argues that, “Of course, it’s more than games and gaming systems. Overall, it’s the dark side of technology that can be hidden behind the keyboard elsewhere, like social media. As an organization, Dell Alienware, very enthusiastic about inclusion and mutual support, both internally and externally. It is part of our code of conduct and is an important benchmark that we adhere to, but we also use it when contacting our partners and customers. I have it in mind.

“We have recently worked with many charities to educate young students about online safety, teach them what the internet should and shouldn’t do, and much more. I started. The game is included there. There is another Goodin Gaming initiative started by Team Liquid. “

Good in Gaming, as mentioned above, is a collaborative project between Alienware and esports giant Team Liquid, helping young players to further their careers in the gaming industry, offering mentoring, internships and scholarships. I am.

The future of PC games

GeForce now

(Image credit: Nvidia)

PC games have come a long way in a very short period of time. What are your predictions for the PC gaming situation in more than 10 years?

“You will see a lot of subscription type ‘games as a service’ like Xbox Gamepass, and of course cloud gaming. That means from a hardware standpoint you don’t need something very powerful like a powerful processor or GPU. This gives you more freedom to play your game on mobile devices and docking-type devices like the Alienware UFO prototype. “

The reaction to the Steam Deck announcement underscores consumer demand for a truly portable PC gaming experience. Valve’s future handhelds are still limited by hardware, but as the public internet infrastructure improves, we’ll all be playing the new AAA games on tablets or cellphones over the next several years.

This future accessibility is a good goal to strive for, keeping the affordability of these developments in mind so that people who are currently billed in the current gaming market can be involved due to the initial cost of the hardware. I hope it will be placed. As James Jones said, the appeal of PC Gaming in particular is the community aspect of not only playing games, but also making friends through Discord servers and Twitch chat.

Each year a new excitement is developed that has the potential to improve online accessibility, and the game evolves with it. It’s hard to say exactly where IT is going, but rather than malicious IT like The Matrix, you can spend your retirement years completely immersed in a virtual reality similar to Ready Player One. I hope I can do it.