Top-end gaming kit is where the money's at

Top-spending 'enthusiast-class' gamers account for almost half of world-wide gaming hardware revenue, Jon Peddie Research reckons.

Peddie estimates that 46 per cent of the cash spent in 2009 on PC gaming hardware was lashed out on the top-end misnomer 'enthusiast' class kit.

This means stuff like 'boutique' PCs, high-end processors and graphics cards, SSDs, specially-designed gaming mice, keyboards, speakers, monitors, and so forth. Of course you can be enthusiastic about gaming but without deep pockets you'll not be buying enthusiast-class kit.

Getting out the crystal ball, JPR thinks demand will alter as the worldwide PC gaming user base continues to increase in size.

By 2013 the star-gazers reckon the enthusiast class will account for 35 per cent of gaming hardware revenue. But since the market is still expanding, the enthusiast class will grow from $9.5 billion to almost $12.5 billion in 2013.

Ted Pollak, Video Game Industry Analyst for JPR, reckons the high end will always be a good market. "There is a style element to the enthusiast class as well as what we call a 'muscle car element'. Enthusiast level hardware purchasers will spend hundreds, sometimes thousands more, to maximise gaming performance, and have the cutting edge of engineering and technology such as 3D and HD 120Hz monitors."

Jon Peddie, president of JPR, noted that for all levels of hardware "gamers are ordering, building, and modding their rigs with components that just a few years ago were simply not available with any economy of scale. SSDs, water cooling, gaming mice and keyboards and other components have come to the performance class and gamers are starting to snap them up.