May 22, 2017

SAN DIEGO, CALIF. – Market analyst firm DFC Intelligence has issued a series of new research products focused on the emerging PC game consumer. These are younger game consumers that would like to play more high-end games on PC but are currently limited by hardware performance. These consumers are most likely to buy high-end PCs and accessories in the near future and will be a primary source of growth for the game market in general.

Overall DFC Intelligence forecasts that a growing number of consumers will specifically make future computer and PC component purchases based on how well a PC system can play games. By 2021, consumers are expected to spend $40 billion on custom hardware specifically designed to play PC games, including a large number of consumers building their own system. “This is great news for companies like Nvidia, Intel and AMD as these consumers will look to increasingly spend money on performance hardware,” said DFC lead analyst David Cole. “Teenagers and young adults today are very aware of not only major PC brands but also issues like the importance of specialized cooling systems and power supplies. The main issue is many of these consumers are not in a position to afford expensive systems. However, that will change as they grow older.”

To analyze the “Emerging PC Gamer” segment DFC analyzed tens of millions of searches over several years on System Requirements Lab by consumers looking to assess if their PC was powerful enough to run a specific game. These were generally younger consumers that did not have access to the higher-end PC systems favored by core PC gamers. DFC also surveyed 1,300 consumers across North America, South America and Europe.

The Emerging PC Gamer segment is 93% male with 86% of respondents in the 13-25 year old age range. The most popular game franchise was Grand Theft Auto with 81% of respondents saying they have played a game in the series. Other popular game industry franchises included Call of Duty (70%), Minecraft (62%) and Pokemon (58%). Among major PC game franchises The Sims actually ranked higher than League of Legends, Civilization and Warcraft.

Surprisingly mobile gaming was not as popular as expected. Only 44% of respondents had played a game on their smartphone in the past month, the same number as played games on a laptop PC. Tablets were not that popular with 6% playing on an iPad and 11% on an Android tablet in the past month. Console game systems are popular with this audience with 34% playing on an Xbox One or PlayStation 4. This figure was high given that only 52% of respondents came from what DFC considers the major console markets of North America, Japan and Western Europe.

Not surprisingly these consumers are very into new trends like eSports and virtual reality. In the past six month, 54% of respondents had watched or competed in an eSports event and 55% use a gaming headset. While less than 5% own a virtual reality system, 64% said they are excited by the prospect of VR. The systems with the most owners were Samsung GearVR, followed by PlayStation VR, HTC Vive and Oculus Rift in that order. When it came to future purchase intent the Vive led with 27%, followed by Oculus Rift at 25% and PlayStation VR at 19%.

The challenge with this demographic is that they seem to be constrained in terms of spending. While 42% of respondents said they were in the market for a new PC in the next year, 40% said they keep their PC until it won’t run anymore. The majority of consumers paid less than $1,000 for their current PC. “Considering the high system demands for many PC games it is clear that performance limitations within the targeted audience are a major limiting factor for game sales,” said Cole.

The new products are part of a line of services DFC has launched to help companies understand the addressable market for PC games. The products available include a pdf report, a presentation summary of the May 2017 survey results and an Excel pivot table with March 2017 actual hardware data from over 1.5 million consumers DFC has identified as part of the Emerging PC Gamer demographic. Custom data and analysis is available for customers that want to look in more detail at this category.

About DFC Intelligence

DFC Intelligence ( is a strategic market research and consulting firm focused on interactive entertainment and the emerging video game, online game, interactive entertainment and portable game markets. Since 1995, DFC has published in-depth strategic market reports and subscription-based research services. DFC research is used by more than 300 leading companies in over 30 countries worldwide.

About System Requirements Lab

System Requirements Lab a division of Husdawg, LLC provides Instant Expert Analysis, a computer hardware detection and analysis web-based service. Since 1991, Husdawg has provided solutions to leading brands such as Disney, Electronic Arts, Activision, AMD, NVIDIA, Pentax, EDMC, Westwood College and many more. With System Requirements Lab, Husdawg has leveraged its technology that has been used by hundreds of millions of consumers across over 100 clients.

Robert Nolan
(804) 938-0030