. Space Industry and Business News .

Asia powers PC rebound in computer gaming industry
by Staff Writers
Singapore (AFP) Oct 12, 2011

It looks like many other industrial buildings in Singapore with its squat form and grey exterior.

But make your way past firms producing lights and prams to the top floor of the seven-storey block and the sight that greets visitors is enough to make many young gamers think they've died and gone to heaven.

Welcome to the Singapore research and development centre of Razer, a cult brand among hardcore gamers worldwide who lust after high-performance devices such as mice, keyboards, headsets and joysticks

Despite Apple's conquest of mass-market computing and the current dominance of consoles such as Sony's Playstation 3 among avid gamers, PC gaming is clawing back lost ground thanks to its diehard supporters.

Entertainment industry research firm DFC Intelligence said in a market report released in September that the PC could dethrone consoles as the dominant hardcore gaming platform in three years.

Data from the firm showed that the global PC games market raked in a record $16.2 billion last year, up 20 percent from 2009.

Although the console games market -- valued at nearly $25 billion in 2010 -- outperformed the PC platform last year, DFC predicts a reversal of fortunes by 2014 because consoles have lost momentum.

"The Xbox 360 was released in 2005 and both the Playstation 3 and (Nintendo) Wii were released in 2006. That means that there's been a full five years since the last current console was released," DFC said.

But Razer's PC gaming doesn't come cheap.

The Black Widow Ultimate Stealth keyboard retails for $139.99 while the Razer Tiamat 7.1 headset, which will be released in the coming months, will carry a $179.99 price tag.

"I think this is a phenomenal time for the PC gaming industry," said Tan Min-Liang, the Singaporean co-founder and chief executive of Razer, which was founded in 1998 in San Diego, California.

The privately held firm now generates "triple digit millions" in revenues, Tan said.

The lack of new gaming console announcements, the PC's superiority in game graphics as well as new business models such as free-to-play online gaming are cited by industry observers to justify the PC's resurgence.

At the other extreme, casual gaming on Apple devices such as the iPad and iPhone is regarded with some contempt by hardcore gamers who couldn't be bothered to play "Angry Birds" and other popular titles in the genre.

Matt Ployhar, president of the non-profit PC Gaming Alliance, whose mission is to promote the platform, was understandably bullish.

"PC gaming is on track to match or exceed all three console manufacturers' combined revenues by 2014 or, barring any economic factors, possibly even earlier," he told AFP.

Ployhar added that Asia, particularly China, South Korea and Japan, were the main drivers of PC gaming growth worldwide, accounting for more than 45 percent of the global PC gaming market.

"The overall leader in terms of revenue and size is China," he said.

Razer's Tan said PC gamers in China -- where consoles such as Microsoft's Xbox 360 and the Playstation 3 have been banned since 2000 even though they are made there -- far outnumbered their US counterparts.

The ban was imposed in 2000 after pressure from parents concerned over the impact of gaming on China's youth.

Nevertheless, a military shooting game called Crossfire currently has four million players in China at any given time, Tan said.

Professional gamers swear undying loyalty to the PC.

"It's like a tradition for me to play on PC," said Grzesiek Komincz, 17, a professional Starcraft II player better known to his legions of fans worldwide by his online moniker "mouzMaNa."

"Since I was a kid I've been playing on a computer so I kept continuing to play on the PC till this day," the Polish player told AFP by email.

So-called "Esports" tournaments, which star pro gamers such as Komincz, routinely feature more PC games than any other platform.

Prize money offered in top-tier tournaments often runs into the tens of thousands of dollars, sometimes up to $100,000, making "Esports" a viable occupation for pros, particularly in South Korea.

Tan said Razer was not limiting itself to PC gaming -- it's also expanding into console accessories for good measure.

"The entire market is growing in a crazy pace," Tan said.

Related Links
Space Technology News - Applications and Research

Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
Buy Advertising Editorial Enquiries


. Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Bangladesh launches $130 laptop for schools
Dhaka (AFP) Oct 11, 2011
Bangladesh on Tuesday unveiled a $130 locally made laptop that it hopes will help bridge the digital divide in the impoverished South Asian country. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina unveiled the Doel - or magpie - laptops at a ceremony in the capital Dhaka, saying the computer, made by state-owned telecom company TSS, would help Bangladesh become a middle-income nation by 2021. "(There are ... read more

German satellite hurtles towards Earth: officials

Asia powers PC rebound in computer gaming industry

Global computer sales slow as people turn to tablets

Northrop Grumman Demonstrates HAMMR "On-the-Move" Radar at Yuma Proving Grounds

Elbit Establishes Israeli MOD Comms Equipment Supply Upgrade and Maintenance Project

Boeing FAB-T Demonstrates High-Data-Rate Communications with AEHF Satellite Test Terminal

NRL TacSat-4 Launches to Augment Communications Needs

US Space Completes Study for USAF and Identifies Cost-Effective Ways to Procure MILSATCOM

Indian-French satellite put into orbit

Chinese rocket sends French telecom satellite into space

On-time preparations continue for Soyuz' milestone mission from French Guiana

US telecoms satellite reaches designated orbit

Electronic Compass Market Finds its Way to 73 Percent Growth in 2011

Raytheon Joins Industry Partners in Honoring USAF for Historic Contributions Through GPS

Russia's Soyuz-2.1B carrier rocket orbits Glonass satellite

Ruling Fuels Debate On Warrantless Cell Phone Tracking

Northrop Grumman Awarded Contract to Provide New Hybrid Navigation System for Cessna Business Jets

Embraer selects French component supplier

EU court backs bloc in airlines emissions fight

EU wins key round in carbon fight with airlines

Point defects in super-chilled diamonds may offer stable candidates for quantum computing bits

New knowledge about 'flawed' diamonds could speed the development of diamond-based quantum computers

Researchers Realize High-Power, Narrowband Terahertz Source at Room Temperature

Rice physicists move one step closer to quantum computer

Astrium signs new Pleiades contract

New program to expand, enhance use of LIDAR sensing technology

Indra Tries In Madrid And Seville Space Technology To Detect Heat Islands

RADA Selected for a SAR Development Program

N. Zealand PM warns oil slick ship at risk of break up

NZealand braces for break-up of oil slick ship

Filipino captain in N.Z. sea pollution crisis charged

New oil spills in N.Z's worst sea pollution crisis


The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2011 - Space Media Network. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement