The personal computer (PC) gaming sector is one of the most innovative technology industries and its influence on culture, social networking and entertainment cannot be understated as it provides an immersive experience to more than two billion gamers around the world.
Image supplied | Mathew Hall, Rectron product director
Globally, the PC gaming hardware market, which consists of personal computers, new components and peripherals – keyboards, mice, headsets, mousepads, microphones, chairs, and webcams – used for gaming, is exploding. According to DFC Intelligence, the global market for games on PCs will grow to $37bn – R611bn – by 2022, with many people buying and upgrading PCs who have the sole intention of playing video games.
There is no doubt that gaming PCs have developed from a niche segment to a strong-selling mainstream product. With the Covid-19 pandemic reshaping how we all work and socialise, gaming has provided a way to stay connected to friends, family and co-workers. In fact, the pandemic has led to a surge in PC gamers and ultimately the growth in the PC gaming market.
Many of today’s PC gamers are adults who started playing in the 1990s. That’s when classic games like Doom, Wolfenstein 3D, Diablo and many others made their debut. Today, there are more games available than any one person could play – although I am sure some have tried.
The rise of free-to-play games such as League of Legends, Fortnite, Call of Duty: Warzone and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, to name a few, have all contributed to the two billion PC gamers worldwide. While the average time spent playing games remains highest among children, gaming can no longer be considered child’s play.
Interestingly, when it comes to PC gaming, e-sports has been a major driver of industry growth. E-sports is a competitive video game sport, which is expected to reach 557 million people by 2021 and has incorporated organised tournaments with professional players receiving major paydays.
All sports, whether it’s soccer, basketball or baseball, have many things in common: passionate fans, sold-out stadiums, engaging commentators and world-class athletes. The same thing is true in the world of e-sports.
From a technological standpoint, PC games have enhanced the viewing experience with increasingly life-like visuals. Games now frequently run at a smooth 60 frames per second with 4K resolution when combined with gaming monitors.
The AOC-branded monitors have been certified in first place for both 100Hz and 144Hz refresh rate categories by IDC. This enables an extremely realistic and immersive gaming experience.
Customising your build and setup
For PC gaming enthusiasts, crafting a machine on your own with a selection of components can be an exciting journey. It allows you to make something that’s personalised and built according to your own budget, specifications and preference. You have the freedom to choose how you want your system to run and which of the ever-increasing number of peripherals you want to use.
As the PC gaming market continues to grow, hardware manufacturers have expanded their offerings to further enhance the in-game experience. Cooler Master, a global leader in designing innovative gaming peripherals, introduced its latest gaming mouse, the MM710, which weighs 53g and is designed for faster movements and longer gaming sessions with minimal fatigue and wrist pain.
PC manufacturers now strive to offer the latest high-performance processors and graphic cards for customisation. In PC gaming, computing power is vital as a slow processor can be the difference between winning and losing. With Nvidia launching the RTX 3000 line-up and AMD releasing Radeon RX 6000 series in recent months, the graphics card market has been the most competitive it has been for some time.
While most PC gamers will be more pragmatic when it comes to PC upgrades, it is vital to weigh up the price/performance ratio of new components. However, with a large range available today, there is a graphics card suited to every gamer and budget.
Another trend within the PC gaming culture is the unique customisation of peripherals tailored to gamers’ individual tastes and decorated with LEDs. This brings individuality to their setup, linking with the likes of Corsair’s Lighting towers, lighting strips, mouse and keyboard, to create an extended gaming environment that is connected to what is happening on your screen.
The only things you absolutely need is a keyboard, a mouse, a monitor and an ethernet cable.
More than just a game
The image of a gaming PC is so focused around games that we often forget that they double as a useful workstation. With work and home PC use becoming increasingly blurred, people are looking for good all-round performers. A powerful gaming PC can become a reliable home office and combined with peripherals, your home setup may be more efficient and more comfortable to use for work purposes.
Gaming PCs offer access to an ecosystem of multiplayer games, in which you, friends, and strangers occupy the same digital space. Now more than ever, gaming is at the heart of the entertainment business. The way consumers engage with and through games is constantly changing. Not only does this result in more overall engagement, but it also leads to entirely new segments for game enthusiasts to look forward to.