PC gaming hardware and accessories revenue up 25 percent in US in 2021

A potential effect of work-from-home culture.

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Marketing research services company NPD Group is reporting a 25-percent increase in sales related to PC gaming hardware and accessories in the U.S. in 2021, translating to a total of $5.74 billion spent.

The NPD Group’s findings indicate a rise in sales of 25 percent over 2020 and an even more daunting 62-percent increase from 2019 to 2020. This growth is spread across several different subcategories within hardware and accessories, according to the report. Overall, desktop computers, notebook computers, and PC microphones led the revenue increases in 2021. Last year saw these categories’ sales rise 38 percent, 29 percent, and 25 percent.

While desktops, notebooks, and PC microphones account for the leaders in overall revenue, unit volume growth is a slightly different story. Areas that saw the most volume unit growth include PC microphones, monitors, and notebook computers, which can be easily explained by the rapid adoption of work-from-home culture.

The shift to working at home caused many to upgrade their office setups or build them from scratch for the first time with microphones for meetings, additional monitors, and notebook solutions to ensure connectivity. Microphones, monitors, and notebooks saw unit volume growth in the form of 27 percent, 17 percent, and 16 percent, respectively.

NPD Group also reports a spike in digital content across VR and non-VR content. The final numbers for 2021 were up seven percent, rendering $7.9 billion in revenue.

Given that PC gaming is a pricey hobby that’s only gotten more expensive over the past couple of years thanks to scarcity driven by COVID-19 and fragile supply chains, this isn’t exactly a surprise on every level. As more people shift to working at home, they naturally upgrade their setups with PC gaming hardware as it offers the best performance and can balance work with play.

Still, these sharp upturns in revenue can’t be sustainable. The NPD Group tempers expectations by forecasting a four-percent downturn in 2022.