Consoles remain the second most popular gaming platform after mobile gaming, despite current issues in the hardware supply chain for console makers. About 41% of gamers prefer consoles to 37% prefer PCs.

History of the PC-Console Rivalry

There's a long, rich history of the PC-console rivalry, but it wasn't always so. The first video games were made for PCs, after which arcade games entered the fray, laying the groundwork for consoles. When consoles came during the early 1970s, they made little to no headway due to their limited range. Games came pre-installed, so other games could neither be added nor removed.

PC Console Rivalry, Popularity of PC, PC Vs Console

But with technological advancements, consoles grew to the same popularity as PC and eventually surpassed the latter. Games have evolved with unique scenarios and increased internet connectivity thanks to more extensive and prolonged storylines. They now come with multiplayer and multiplatform capabilities (playable on different devices). The idea was to harness the social aspect of gaming and remove device inhibitions.

The Growing Popularity of PC

The PC hasn't always had smooth sailing in the gaming world. Despite being the first in at-home gaming, it only caught on in 1983 after video games tanked due to an insane influx of low-quality consoles and games into the market. But it only took seven years for all that to topple over in the 1990s, as consoles mounted a strong comeback from pioneers Nintendo 64 and Sony PlayStation.

Since then, PC gaming has gradually found its feet and made its way into the global gaming market. We can expect this newfound popularity to continue due to specific trends in the industry. Firstly, since morphing into a social space with unique viewership and fandom, the gaming industry has experienced a wave of influencers riding on the waves of the creator economy. For instance, famous figures like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Henry Cavill (Geralt of Rivia and Clark Kent, Superman) have been recorded gaming or building at-home rigs for gaming.

Although the popularity of PC gaming can't be tied to this reason alone, the presence of influencers has doubtlessly helped. Matter-of-factly, computing hardware has maintained steady demand in recent past years. For example, a study posited that the hardware market for PC gaming rose to USD 36.9 billion in 2020, USD 3.6 billion higher than the numbers in 2019. By 2021, the market was predicted to reach a new high of USD 45.6 billion.

In many ways, we are decades of innovation away from the earliest PC games, like the Microsoft Flight Simulator of 1982. The 2020 version of the same game looks way better, with hyper realistic graphics and high-quality gameplay. In the same vein, virtual reality chat rooms and eSports tournaments springing up rapidly have added to the allure of PC gaming. As a result, we can expect to see further development and popularity in the sector.


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