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Nvidia: PC Game Revenue To Surpass Console In 2014
Nvidia: PC Game Revenue To Surpass Console In 2014
September 23, 2011 | By Kyle Orland

In a recent conference call to investors, PC graphics card maker Nvidia said it believes revenues generated by PC games will grow to surpass those for console games by 2014.

The company cited data from analysis firm DFC Intelligence that shows PC game revenue rising from roughly $17 billion in 2011 to roughly $22 billion in 2014, as reported by Techgage. Console game revenue, meanwhile, will decline from nearly $25 billion to just under $22 billion in the same time.

DFC actually expects sales of packaged PC titles to decrease slightly during the next few years, but that heavy growth in digital sales will drive the overall growth in PC game revenues. DFC also recently predicted that digital revenues for the entire industry, including consoles, will surpass retail software sales in 2013.

A recent report from Screen Digest found that PC game subscription revenue fell for the first time in 2010, thanks to an increasing shift to microtransaction-based models.

On the conference call, Nvidia was quick to point out that, while an Xbox 360 was only slightly less powerful than a top-end graphics card on its release in 2005, the GEForce GTX 580 can now generate nine times the graphical performance of the console, according to the company's own tests.

Nvidia also highlighted the popularity of titles like League of Legends and World of Tanks, and the rising popularity of live streaming competitions in games like Starcraft II, as reflecting the health of the PC game market.




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Benjamin Quintero
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Except that this graph will be tossed out when the new consoles hit in 2014. It's hard to believe that PC GPU were even 2x more powerful back in 2006 when there are console ports to PC that run like crap on PC's of today. With a factor 10x, you'd think that we could run console games in a virtual machine and still get relative performance but never seems to work that way, even running native code and direct rendering to hardware. Thanks abstract PC architecture!

Chris Melby
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If new consoles are released in 2014 -- since I guess the Wii-U doesn't count? -- based on past consoles, they'll be built on low to mid range variants of PC components. They might have a new bell and whistle here and there, but nothing that won't also be introduce to the PCs at that time.

The 8800 GT released in 2006, which had 128 CUDA cores is easily double the performance of the 7800-ish GPU in the PS3 and the x1600-ish GPU found in the 360. That GPU and the 9600 GT(64 CUDA cores) I had in 2007 easily trump what's in the consoles.

And yes, there are console ports that can tax a low-end gaming PC from the other year. I refer to them as the poorly optimized vomit from inexperienced devs. And when I say from the the other year, my mentioned 9600 GT from 4 years back -- which at that time was mid-range -- had absolutely no problems with any of the ports I bought. It pushed a higher frame rate at a higher detail level at 1600 x 900 than the consoles can muster at their rez.

And fortunately not all ports are crap. In the past few years it seems as if most developers have found their groove. 2006 to 2007 was the worst of the vomit ports. Towards the end of 2007 is when things started to turn around for the better, that's when games like Dead Space were released, which outside of tacked on mouse controls ran great on most gaming PC hardware at the time. Other games just needed updates to fix their hiccups, like Mass Effect, or one of the worst offenders, GTAIV.

And my GTX 580 is easily 10 fold more capable than what's in any consoles. To put things in perspective, when ever I play on a 360 or PS3 now days, to me they look like a slightly less pixelated Wii. You really have to play on both to see this. My current GPU drives my Apple HD 30" (2560 x 1600) like butter. Console ports all run maxed out without ever dropping a frame -- I lock my frame rate at 60, even though my PC can do much higher on most titles. Everything I've seen on console now days, is essentially low-detail on a PC and at a much lower rez.

Anyways, I guess you don't game on PCs?

Benjamin Quintero
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I do game on PC and buy a mid-high range PC ever 3 years or so, but have been burned too many times with bad ports. Even the staple PC developers have moved on to console and often require a controller or highly recommend it, it kind of defeats the point of the PC strengths outside of higher HD.

It's hard to find a console port that takes full advantage of PC and since console is the primary platform, it makes PC just a prettier side thought. They often take zero advantage of PC online capability, mouse interface, social networking, and the open PC platform for creating custom content or modding.

So if it's not a PC game then why buy it on PC again? Now, I do still place PC games for PC gamers, just not console ports.

If you are talking about a port to PC, then it becomes a debate of "do i want to play on my 240Hz 46+ inch TV, or do I play on my 20 inch monitor with higher resolution (if their settings screen allows it)".

Jane Castle
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As soon as tablet PCs become as powerful as an XBox360 or a PS3 I think that the consoles days will be numbered. Already you can get a PC in the $300-$400 that will outclass the current batch of consoles. It is just a matter of time.

matt landi
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It would be interesting to see how much of the PC revenue is coming from games that are graphics intensive vs. "social/casual" games.

Robert Green
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I'd have to assume that most of the growth has come from non-graphics intensive games, since the PC industry as a whole has been shifting towards cheaper and more portable, and is likely to continue doing so, considering that Intel is investing hundreds of millions of dollars into a fund to help manufacturers create thinner and lighter notebooks (i.e. macbook air competitors).

And this is what nvidia doesn't seem to have addressed here. Those of us who grew up with PC gaming may be willing to spend a decent amount on a new PC every few years, and the old logic used to be that it wasn't that much because you were going to spend most of it on a new PC anyway. These days though, everyone already owns a PC that can already do everything else they need it to just fine, so where is the growth in PC gaming going to come from? From social gaming and casual games on steam maybe, but that isn't where nvidia makes its money is it? What convinces new gamers to enter a market where a graphics card costs more than an iPhone?

Chris Moeller
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Yay, finally consoles will be dead, and people will have to learn how to "install" a program.

All consoles have been, for a long time are "neutered" proprietary computers, specialized for games, but generalized now for other stuff.

It's like buying a Swiss army knife with only a corkscrew, which only gets redesigned every 200yrs.

(in technology time)