NPD Group: Consumer Spending on PC Gaming Hardware and Accessories Increased by 25% in 2021

Ule Lopez
NPD Group PC Gaming

It seems as if the chip shortage hasn't really affected the spending habits of the PC gaming market as the latest NPD Group report has confirmed that the total spending on PC gaming hardware and accessories has increased by 25% in 2021 compared to 2020. However, the revenue increase % is not as dramatic as the 2019-2020 increase (62%).

Year-over-year revenue growth in PC gaming hardware and accessory categories was led by desktop computers, notebook computers, and PC microphones, increasing 38%, 29%, and 25%, respectively.

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PC microphones, monitors, and notebook computers experienced the highest unit volume growth, increasing 27%, 17%, and 16%, respectively. According to NPD’s Future of Technology forecast, 2022 PC gaming hardware and accessory revenue will see a 4% decline, a result of tremendously high volumes for the previous two years.

Mat Piscatella, an analyst from the NPD Group, said the following regarding the results:

PC gaming continues to offer a wide variety of content, across numerous genres, coming from developers around the world. It remains the home of game innovation while providing players myriad ways to engage with the medium. In 2021, the PC platform generated record consumer spending and engagement, further proving that the oldest game platform may indeed still be the industry’s best.

Speaking of engagement, the digital PC content, which includes cloud and non-console VR content, also saw sales gains, increasing 5% to $7.9 billion. Time spent playing PC games was strong as well. According to NPD’s Evolution of Entertainment 2021 report, PC game players averaged 7.7 hours played per week in 2021, up from 6.7 hours in 2020.

Of course, this is not surprising if you've read our previous reports. Steam kicked the year off with a record number of concurrent users. A concurrent record was announced at the start of the New Year with 28.2M users. Two weeks later, the platform nearly got to the 30M mark on its own. It's easy to conclude that the PC Gaming platform will continue to thrive as more games become available for all users.

Speaking of storefronts that have been successful, the Epic Games Store has also reported that it continued to grow in 2021. Monthly active users peaked at 62 million in December (up from 56 million a year ago), and overall spending was $840 million, up from $700 million. Unfortunately, the platform still relies on its free game deals.

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