Mon, Sep 03, 2018 - Page 16 News List

E-sports to boost gaming PC market, analysts say

REPLACEMENT DEMAND:Shipments of gaming PCs should increase by 10 to 20 percent this year, partly because of Nvidia’s Turing GPU launch, analysts said

By Chen Cheng-hui  /  Staff reporter

As the global e-sports market continues to develop rapidly, worldwide shipments of gaming PCs are forecast to grow steadily this year, boosted partially by Nvidia Corp’s anticipated launch of the Turing graphics processing unit (GPU) later this quarter, KGI Securities Investment Advisory Co (凱基投顧) said in a report last week.

E-sports was an exhibition sport for the first time at the Asian Games in Indonesia last week, and competitive video gaming could become a medal event at the next Games in Hangzhou, China, in 2022.

Market research firm Newzoo said it estimates that the number of active players in the e-sports industry will exceed 2.3 billion people this year and reach 2.7 billion in 2021.

North America, China and Europe are where the majority of e-sports players originate, with the number forecast to increase at a compound annual growth rate of 7.7 percent from this year to 2021, compared with the 2.2 percent rise predicted for other regions over the same period, Newzoo said.

Meanwhile, the e-sports audience — including frequent viewers, enthusiasts and occasional viewers — is predicted to grow 13 percent annually, it added.

As the number of e-sports players is increasing and the sport has rapidly garnered a large international audience, global shipments of gaming PCs are forecast to increase by 10 to 20 percent each year for this year and next year, KGI said.

Global shipments of gaming PCs, including desktop and notebook PCs, should total 23 to 24 million units this year, up from 20 to 21 million units last year, as the anticipated launch of Nvidia’s Turing GPUs — a major upgrade from the firm’s Pascal GPU architecture — could serve as a catalyst for strong replacement demand, KGI analysts Angela Hsiang (向子慧) and Jim Liou (劉峻廷) said on Thursday.

Desktops account for 65 to 70 percent of gaming PC shipments, but gaming notebook shipments have increased relatively quickly thanks to major vendors’ promotional activities and performance improvements, the analysts said.

Worldwide shipments of gaming notebooks could grow 19 percent annually to 7 million units this year, supported by aggressive marketing by traditional notebook vendors such as Acer Inc (宏碁), Asustek Computer Inc (華碩) and HP Inc, and because gaming company Razer Inc and Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi Corp (小米) have joined the market, Hsiang and Liou said.

Asustek and Micro-Star International Co (微星) are the leading gaming notebook vendors, accounting for 24 percent and 18 percent, respectively, of the market last year, followed by Acer and Dell Inc with a combined market share of 20 percent, the analysts said.

Major notebook brands have benefited largely from the gaming boom, with shipments likely to continue expanding robustly, KGI said, adding that Asustek and Micro-Star would stand out in the market on the back of their brand awareness and frequent exposure on social media thanks to e-sports.

However, mid and low-end gaming notebook vendors, including Acer, HP and Lenovo Group Ltd (聯想), are expected to face increasing pricing pressure due to more companies joining the market, it added.

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