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A 13.9% decline in PC hardware sales has been reported by research and analytical firm IDC. The decline is one of the biggest year-over-year declines in the history of PC hardware sales and some are speculating it has a lot to do with Windows 8.
The New York Times and like-minded technocrats point to the overt and brisk market fertilization of tablet-style adaptation for Windows 8 that has “scared” off buyers of traditional laptops and desktop PCs, especially as the market for mobile devices continues to climb and saturate throughout the world.
Bob O’Donnell, program vice president for clients and displays at IDC commented about the terri-bad news for PC dwellers – especially those in the business of selling enthusiast PC hardware – noting...
“At this point, unfortunately, it seems clear that the Windows 8 launch not only failed to provide a positive boost to the PC market, but appears to have slowed the market,” … “Microsoft will have to make some very tough decisions moving forward if it wants to help reinvigorate the PC market,”
Many readers might question what the heck does this news have anything to do with gaming? Well, the reality is that a large portion of the gaming industry has shifted lately, with PCs become the lead platform on a lot of big and small titles alike, Battlefield 3 and Battlefield 4 in the AAA arena, and The Witcher series if you want to count smaller mid-budget games. Let's also not forget titles like Primal Carnage or Orion: Dino Horde on the indie front. With a decline in hardware sales it begs the question of whether publishers and design studios will stick with PC over the long haul?
Also, with PC sales slumping the way they have, it'll probably have a lot of big-name publishers re-evaluating their approach to lead platform preference...unless, of course, there's a resurgence of sales thanks to Valve's Steambox line of living room console solutions in the form of a PC, which are set to launch this fall. The real catch with the Steambox however is that it will not support Windows but will be Linux based, so even if it helps re-surge PC sales it won't be doing so for any benefit to Microsoft or Windows.
What's more is that while PC hardware sales may be in a bit of a dire strait, the software side is looking totally different, making records amount of money on the digital and microtransaction gaming front with $20 billion in revenue throughout 2012.