Monday, 23 March 2009

PC rules supreme in gaming world

By Maggie Shiels
Technology reporter, BBC News, San Francisco

The personal computer is king in the world of games, according to a new report by the PC Gaming Alliance.

On the opening day of the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, the Alliance said the industry made about $11 billion world wide last year.

PCGA president Randy Stude said these figures underline the PC as the "No 1 platform for gaming world wide".

"Despite Xbox LIVE and PlayStation, the online platform that remains the most accessible and robust is the PC."

According to research company IDC, there are over 1 billion personal computers world wide. The PCGA maintains that 250 million are being used for gaming.

The report also revealed that three of the biggest trends for last year were the growth of digital distribution, the rise of free games with a micro transaction model, and the increased presence of game cards at major retailers such as 7-Eleven

"The biggest story in PC games is the expansion beyond retail," said Mr Stude.

"PC games have successfully pioneered online subscription and distribution models that have resulted in a global boom that shows no signs of slowing."

In 2008, Americans spent more than $21 billion on video game hardware, software and accessories, up from $18 billion in 2007, according to market researcher NPD Group. And sales continued to rise in January and February of this year.