Global PC software, hardware sales hit $68 billion in 2008 - Study

PC Gaming Alliance research indicates desktop game sales rose 18 percent worldwide last year; installed base stands at 228 million.

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In January, the NPD Group reported that PC software retails sales had slipped 23 percent in 2008 to $701.1 million, a seemingly alarming figure obfuscated by the rise of digital distribution and subscription-based services. On a worldwide basis, however, the PC game software market saw big gains at retail, according to a new report from the PC Gaming Alliance.

The PC Gaming Alliance
The PC Gaming Alliance

According to the PCGA's 2008 Horizon's Report, PC gaming software saw global revenues reach $12.7 billion in 2008, a year-over-year rise of $1.9 billion, or nearly 18 percent. Overall, the study found that the PC software and hardware market stood at $68 billion in 2008, with the PCGA saying that number is expected to balloon to $143 billion by 2013.

The study further found that 42 million PC desktops and 31 million notebooks capable of playing games were shipped during the year; numbers that are expected to grow to 59 million and 118 million, respectively, in five years. Gaming-capable PCs and notebooks were also estimated to be 228 million during the year, and the PCGA estimated the 2013 installed base will grow to 600 million.

The PC Gaming Alliance is a nonprofit organization whose express purpose is to drive "the worldwide growth of PC gaming." Member companies include AMD, Antec, Dell, Hewlett Packard, Intel, Logitech, and Nvidia, Microsoft, Sony, Capcom, Epic Games, and Game Informer publisher GameStop.

In April, third-party publishing titan and founding member Activision Blizzard left the organization. PCGA president Randy Stude offered the only comment on the "Activision situation," by saying "a few members have decided they cannot justify the budget (membership and staff) required to maintain an active role in the PC Gaming Alliance at this time."

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