There are 1.8 billion gamers in the world, and PC gaming dominates the market

Gamers pc study

The PC versus console argument has raged across the internet for as long as the respective devices have been in existence.

Every gamer has a different opinion about which console is better, or the advantages and disadvantages of gaming on a PC.

Although the competition is relatively close, PC gamers clearly come out ahead of console gamers in terms of market percentage, according to an ESA study on video game consumers.

The amount of gamers in the world has reached 1.8 billion, with 1.2 billion gamers playing on PC.

62% of gamers use a PC while 56% use a console.

These numbers have recently been heavily referenced by Intel, who have begun developing products aimed at gamers.

Apart from presenting statistics about the console-PC argument, the study focuses on the entirety of the gaming industry, measuring gaming demographics, growth and sales.

Check out some more statistics from the study below.


Age stats


gaming platform stats


Sales stats


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  • Warren Meinking

    PC master race!! 😀

  • RJ

    you beat me to it!

    PC MASTER RACE

  • prodigyX360

    Reecee Pasta Mace!

  • Space Chief

    Casual gamers included. Probably if a woman plays Candy Crush or Solitaire at some stage, she’s a gamer, eh?

  • Space Chief

    Maybe but thanks to Sarkeesian hopefully the master race will have more feminist friendly games. Meanwhile Japanese console releases are immune because East Asians are not feminist. But enjoy your Depression Quests… 🙂

  • Space Chief

    Actually only because they arbitrarily split hand held consoles and
    dedicated handheld systems (hand held consoles) for no reason. If you take into account PSV and 3DS users
    console > PC.

    Actually CONSOLE users still OUTNUMBER PC users. It’s 56+21 = 77% vs 62%. So PC master race has to use this sick tactics…. shame on you…. hehe. 🙂

  • Space Chief

    Actually only because they arbitrarily split hand held consoles and consoles for no reason. If you take into account PSV and 3DS users console > PC. Console market = 77% vs PC users’ = 62%

  • Dave

    Flaw in your logic though. The numbers don’t add up to 100, so clearly people could select more than 1. You are assuming all of those 21% are gamers who don’t also play on any consoles. Which is highly unlikely. I don’t know any handheld gamers who don’t also play on a home console OR Pc. I have a 3ds which I play on and a few consoles, but my primary platform is PC. I would have selected all three had I done a survey. But you can’t then just count me twice when adding the ‘console’ numbers together. If I had to guess I’d say the number of people who only play on handheld consoles, would be a number representing less than 5%.

  • RJ

    But! 😉 Pc is not the master just because of the % of player, it is the Master Race because it IS the Master race 🙂

  • Atmos

    Then you have to include cellphone gaming to that equation aswell.

  • prodigyX360

    Exactly. Numbers don’t change the fact that PC gaming is a far superior experience.

  • Space Chief

    The numbers aren’t meant to add up to 100%. Otherwise the author of this article would have made the same flaw already. It’s about the device people game on. If you look at each gamer and ask them what devices they game on (and they obviously game on more than one, at least some of them) you then add up these preferences to see what is most used. It’s like with gun ownership in USA where guns I think outnumber the people.

    So while 62% of gamers reach for a PC to game, of the total number of gamers, 56% reach for a console and 21% reach for a handheld. There is obvious overlap.

    Now don’t flame me because 62% of gamers use a PC while 56% use a console was stated by Jamie McKane as basis for his pro-PC nonsense headline and he had to use a source which dishonestly or innocently redefined what people gamed on. 🙂

    Console still beats PC. Of 1.8 Billion people, 21% use a handheld CONSOLE.

    So up to = 1.386 billion people reach for a console, while 1.116 Billion game on PCs. (these sets of people intersect).

  • Dave

    THE POINT ————-

    YOUR HEAD

    I’m not trying to argue the merit of what you game on, I’m saying your statistical analysis is way off.
    You can’t add the two numbers together and say this number of people represents all the console gamers, as it doesn’t. That 21% includes a very large portion of people who also included console in their response so you are counting them twice.

    Let me put this into an example for you. If 10 people went to the supermarket and 5 bought apples, 6 bought bananas and 2 bought peaches, by your logic, 7 people bought apples and peaches, but the reality is that 1 person bought both apples and peaches, so the total is actually 6, not 7. Does that make sense? If it doesn’t then perhaps you should apply for a job with the Zim electoral commission or somewhere where your sense of numbers could be better appreciated.
    Nah, I kid, but yes my point is you can’t say 77% of people use consoles, because of the huge intersection in responses. I honestly don’t think there are more hard core games in the PC market, as that number includes vast numbers of people like my sister who play sims 3 on their celeron core 2 duo, but I saw statistical maths been abused and had to step in.

  • BrendanMcCT

    I concur! There can only be one!

  • Wurnman

    Suprised to see so many girl/women gamers. Nice to see. Im not going to say PC master race as it is stupid. We all game, just glad PC’s aren’t dead like most devs would have us believe.

  • Wurnman

    lol

  • Jose

    MASTER RACE IS MASTER RACE!!!

  • Space Chief

    *Sigh*

    If you think my logic is flawed, raise it with the writer of the article. If you can’t say 77% use consoles then you can’t say 62% of gamers use a PC.

    And here you are being inconsistent and perhaps too lazy to read the original article or perhaps you’re just not as smart as you think you are.

    The point is not to add up the different platforms and say >100%, your logic is flawed, that’s not what anyone is saying. What I’m saying is looking at the popularity in terms of platforms.

    Look at your own example but expand it to illustrate what’s going on here.

    You have 10 people, 6 of whom bought an orange, 5 of whom bought an granny smith apple, 2 bought a golden delicious apple, 3 bought a banana and 3 bought a plum.

    Now the question is and this is where you’re getting it WRONG, what is the most popular fruit? Well APPLES are, DUH! 7 out of 10 people bought an apple…. and the next runner, the orange, is only 6. Now my point originally was that the consoles were split up unfairly between non portable ones and portable ones. But that’s an arbitrary exlclusion. These are still consoles and Sony and Nintendo still get paid for them.

    Of course the numbers add up to more than 100% because there is overlap, but as said that’s not relevant. It’s given that some people don’t game exclusively on one platform only. But the question at hand is WHAT IS THE MOST POPULAR PLATFORM and in this case it’s the apple/console.

    Now the next time you accuse someone of not following maybe check your logic before throwing around accusations…. ok? 😉

  • Dave

    Actually you can say 62% use PC, because that is directly what the stats say. But you can’t add 2 percentage values and claim that this new value represents a relevant percentage of all gamers, because it doesn’t. Because of the overlap. What you have done is the equivalent of a survey where 40% of all South Africans support the ANC, and 30% support Zuma as president that then claims 70% of all south african support Zuma and The ANC. But they don’t, because almost certainly that 30% also said they supported the ANC. If you can’t see how you are counting people twice I don’t know, but I hope you stay far away from basic maths in what ever it is you do for a living.
    Using your own apple example. There is nothing to say the 2 people who bought a golden delicious didn’t ALSO buy a granny smith. So the ACTUAL number of apple lovers MIGHT only be 5. It might also be 7, that’s true, but you can’t categorically say it’s 7, because it might not be. If that doesn’t make sense, I give up.

    And again I’m not arguing the real world value of this survey, I don’t really care what people game on, but your maths is wrong.

  • Space Chief

    You can very well add two percentage values because the console sub segment added XBoxes, Wii’s and Playstations. The PC segment added computers which are capable of playing 3D games reasonably (with 3D h/w) and ones which are used to play solitaire at work running GMA graphics which can’t play any of these modern games most PC gamers recognise as games. There is no reason therefore to NOT add handheld consoles to consoles. Does it now make sense? So those people who play Solitaire on their PC at work – count as PC gamers, while they may own a console at home – and there they will count as console gamers too.
    Remember that some of these PC gamers also own smartphones and game on them too, and some console gamers own PCs and so on. Unless we have exclusive numbers, this means little, but we can DEFINITELY say what the most popular platform is based on these divisions. The percentages here I think reflect absolute numbers of devices in each category and that’s what counts.

    The argument is not about exclusive users but about popularity of a given platform. Apples in my example are just more popular than other fruit.

    We could be counting people 5 times, some people own all or some of the platforms: they have a console, PC, handheld console, a smartphone and a wireless device. I have a console, handheld console and a PC. So depending how we parse this I could be 2:1 console gamer or I could be an even split between 3 different gaming platforms.

    The idea is again not to actually look at absolute exclusive gamer numbers, but look at how popular each platform is, as per my apple example. Hence what is the most popular gaming platform, the console.

    But you’re right that the wording is incorrect. The mistake lies with the author of the article in looking at it in gamer numbers and really one can say very little here, other than word it better and say that x many people reach for a console at least some of the time, and x-y (i.e. a smaller number) reach for a console overall. He did after all (as said) say:

    62% of gamers use a PC while 56% use a console.

    62 + 56 > 100.

  • Dave

    The author didn’t create the study or present the numbers. Those were given by the creators of the study. PC may count everything from 286s to those that need a power plant to run, but I guarantee they will still only count each respondent once. In the same way that the console numbers will not count a person who games on PS4 and Wii twice.
    So while yes, it’s stupid to think that the fact that 62% of people play on PC means PC wins the console wars, it is an accurate number because of all the people who took the survey, 62% of them did say they gamed on a PC, however little or much that might be. No double counts there. Whereas, without knowing the exact numerical overlap in numbers between all the other groups, you cannot simply add the percentage values together. It’s bad maths, and the exact reason why statistics shouldn’t be left in the hands of those who don’t ‘get’ them.

    Otherwise, according to you, per this study, this statement is accurate:
    205% of gamers play games on some kind of gaming device.

    Do you agree with that statement? If so, then congratulations, I have nothing else to offer that could show you that you don’t know how to maths. 🙂

  • Space Chief

    In terms of platforms used, YES you very well can add the numbers. Why are you not seeing this? Look back at analogy with apples.

    That’s what market domination is. How do you think demand is calculated?
    By devices sold. It doesn’t matter that maybe 10% of the population are only in the market, as an arbitrary example. OVERALL MORE CONSOLES ARE SOLD OR USED than PCS. That you very well can say categorically.

    And while you can’t tell in terms of people, you also can’t say this is not true either, because as you say you don’t know the overlap. The whole study is a joke and maybe the language used by me is hyperbolic but try to parse this. Normally in social interactions people ‘get’ these cues.

    Maybe I did not make myself clear originally but by now (by my first response) you should know what’s going on instead of harping on an argument nobody is making.

  • Dave

    In statistics a percentage always represents a proportion of the respondents that fit into any group or data set. In a survey where multiple options can be selected each option exists as its own question. So you can say 62% game on Pc and 38% don’t. Thats accurate per the survey. Yes it could be said based on this that the number of respondents times by 2.05 represents the total of device types represented, it does not reflect the breakdown of the individual users so can’t be used to say more people game on X cross section of devices because its just not true and doesn’t reflect a true measue of how many gamers are in each camp. Anyway we’re both just repeating ourselves here as per any internet argument and I dont think either of us is going to ‘WIN’ this one.

  • Калин Георгиев

    How many gaming genres have been born on this “master race” Platform?

  • Paul Sierowski

    Ok nothing beats a pc for gaming, not a mac or a console, we are the masters of the world and rightly so.

  • RJ

    What does Genre’s have to do with this?

  • RJ

    I agree, this is prolly the one thing where lately “everyone” is gamers.

  • gameformetoo

    How many times you gonna post this man

  • João Fauvel

    Two different platforms with different companies behind them against one, that sounds about right. Also smartphone gaming trumps handheld gaming consoles.

  • João Fauvel

    Where is smartphone gaming?

  • João Fauvel

    You won, the guy is a retard.

  • João Fauvel

    Are you a fucking idiot? “Console still beats PC. Of 1.8 Billion people, 21% use a handheld CONSOLE.” This number also includes people who chose more than one platform, so you are counting them twice.

  • TheFox InThe Middle

    So the number of gamers goes against 2 Billion. WTF!

  • Luiz Felipe Pereira

    You are ignoring overlapping. There are people that play in both PC and console, that is why the sum is more than 100%. There are also people that play on handhelds and standard consoles. Thereby you can’t really tell what the total % would be.

  • Space Chief (Iron Sharp)

    But then there are people who own Xbox, pc and a PS4. Consoles should be put together since the issue is about pc vs console, and handheld is another console variant especially with cross saves, cross buys and cross dlc.

  • Kenneth Bittala

    Even though the question is irrelevant, I’ll entertain you. MMMORPGs were born from PC gaming. RTS games may or may not have been born from PC games, but they certainly evolved with PCs.

  • _BLANK_

    also… pc gaming is 20 years older than console gaming, so u can also say that pc is the father of gaming

  • Stewart Hughes

    I like PC games but maybe this gone too far, can we sustain all these game players?? what world we are moving in

  • TheGameLab /gaming

    Where’s your proof?

  • TheGameLab /gaming

    Finally a person who doesn’t shout WRONG and instead explains

  • Tony

    FPS too, don’t forget. I would wager to say more genres overall were born on PC than console since PC’s are far older and started the home gaming revolution.

  • Tony

    I’m both a console and PC gamer but… PC’s can run any game a console can, if a game doesn’t appear on PC it’s only because it’s developers don’t want it to. Also PC’s can use controllers where most consoles can’t or won’t let you use mouse and keyboard. Last gaming online is free on PC, used to be free on console but not anymore.

    PC gaming is superior to console in almost every way, if I could play all console games on PC I wouldn’t bother owning a console anymore.

  • RalphCifaretto

    Sorry, but I don’t count girls playing Farmville or Candy Crush as “gamers”.

  • JohnnyMcMoney

    you do realize, that even though the first videogames where developed on some Kind of Computer. But the real developement and success happened on consoles?! Atari, Nintendo!?! ring a bell?

  • _BLANK_

    and you do realise all i am saying is that THAT wouldn’t happen without a PC rite? All I said was that gaming evolved around PC, thus consoles simply cant exist if there was no pc, however pc can exist by itself. I never said anything about it being the peak of gaming… whatever pc or console does, they still cant beat the amount of ppl in this world who owns a phone anyway

  • forza1sra

    All of them. Hell consoles are still missing entire genres which is unfortunate.

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