PC Games Market Largest in the World, Claims Study

— -- Poor PC gaming, it's the Mark Twain of video game systems, a rumor caught in an exaggeration wrapped in a George Romero flick. Flip through the dailies and you'll invariably come across some blogger in Timbuktu cobbling tea leaves and magic eight ball wisdom into a diatribe about the waning of the PC gaming age. It's as if elves with hair extensions and flowing robes on glowing horses will soon appear to carry your desktops away to boats departing for Valinor.

How about some happier news? Per Edge, research group JPR has a new study out claiming the PC games market is worth over $20 billion. Yep, that's really a two and a zero plus the magic b-word. What's more, JPR has that number climbing to $34 billion before 2012.

Fun Fact #1: Since 2005, JPR says more gaming PCs have been shipped than the combined total unit sales of the 360, PS3, and Wii combined. How many total? About 196 million worldwide, compared to 74.7 million 360s, PS3s, and Wiis.

Fun Fact #2: The average PC gamer has a 17-inch screen running at 1280 x 1024, serious gamers have 21-inch screens running at 1680 x 1050, and extreme players have 30-inch screens running at 2560 x 1600.

Blogging about their study, JPR takes no prisoners, concluding:

Fact is the PC Gaming Market is bigger, worth more money, growing faster, and has better technology than the console market. How come no one but us seems to know that?

To be fair -- and the study apparently acknowledges this -- a lot of that growth is overseas, particularly in Asian markets. I'd like to see a regional breakdown of PC sales, alongside NPD's as-yet-unseen digital distribution figures. Until we have those online numbers cross-indexed with regional sales breakdowns and some sort of demographic consensus about how to categorize casualmainstreamenthusiast gamers, the only scientific fact is that we still don't have a solid handle on how healthy the PC games market really is.