PC Shipments Crash With A Record Decline In Q4 2015

A few years ago, before the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One launched, there were a lot of doomsayers who predicted the death of consoles and there were one or two smug PC Master Race types who were enjoying the show. As we now know consoles are selling better than ever but a recent report shows that PC sales are being hit hard.

During Q4 2016 shipments of PCs dropped a massive 10.6% compared to the previous year, with only Apple showing a small improvement in overall sales.

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A number of factors have been blamed, including falling commodity prices and fluctuating international currencies, but smartphones and tablets are surely the biggest reason for the slump. Day to day internetting – email, Facebook, online shopping – can all be done from a smartphone now, there really is no need for the traditional ‘Family PC’.

As you can see from the table above, the “Other” line – which will include the smaller companies who ship pro-gaming rigs – took the biggest hit, down a massive 21.9%.

However, looking at the bigger gaming picture things are a little more upbeat. Console sales are up, smartphones and tablets are everywhere and have great games on them, and PC games are still selling like proverbial hotcakes on Steam. Sony are dragging themselves out of financial difficulties, it’s been years since a major publisher closed shop, and we have the new Nintendo console allegedly out this year. For gamers, things have never been better.

Source: GIBiz

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50 Comments

  1. Does it account for the people who build/upgrade their own PC, aka most of the PC gaming community?

    • This isn’t news. What’s news is how Xbox Live outages get ignored, yet PSN are headline news nanoseconds after they occur. Anyone else notice an almost blanket news blackout on yesterday’s massive XBL downtime??? It’s as if there is money at work..

      http://thenextweb.com/microsoft/2016/01/14/snoop-dogg-calls-out-bill-gates-over-xbox-live-outages/

      Snoop is also obviously an idiot.

      1/ Bill Gates has had little to do with Microsoft for the last 10 years
      2/ He bought an Xbox one.
      3/ He thinks threatening to buy a PS4 will change anything. Microsoft already has his money.

      • Because people who dare to own a PC are never interested in the [bad Steven] news related to it.

        As Stefan has said and many others have said, TSA waits a few hours when it comes to outages before reporting it. The majority of users on this site are….. PSN users. TSA used to be a Playstation centric site before branching out to cover other platforms.

        Regarding the Snoop dogg, TSA doesn’t do celebrity gossip. Just stop with the [bad Steven] fanboy, “MS ARE EVIL! “MS PAID TSA TO BE SILENT!” BULLCRAP! CAn the damn mods ban this fanboy?

        This is bloody annoying to see and is actually starting to ruin my enjoyment of reading the comments.

      • You might want to duck because I think that’s the banhammer swinging your way.

      • TSA doesnt wait. If they said they do, they are lying. Last PSN outage was reported within 5 minutes, as if it was already typed up reast to post… It lame biased reporting, and what’s hilarious is how the exact opposite excuse was used when XBox One got preferential X
        2016 coverage, This isbt a site just for PS4 owners.

        No wonder its just a handful of people left here, most have gone to dual shockers, where the quality of news is so much better.

      • If TSA is so baised, why do you keep reading the articles? Surely, it would have driven you away by now if TSA was biased?

        For what feels like the billionth time, TSA is not a biased site. The site is run by gamers. PSN is known to be dodgy when it goes down and it was a good few hours before it was reported by as a precaution. The service is unreliable at times and a majority of users on the site are PS4 owners(Note: This is a wild guess and i could be wrong). XBL outages are rare and it may have been that it only affected a small portion of users yesterday if it did go down. THere has been no reports on Eurogamer or any other sites and no signs of it.

        And again with the “Xbox got favoured” bullcrap. Stefan has linked you to the PS4 articles. There wasn’t enough to justify a 2 page article. Xbox had enough. But that can’t be the case.

        In fact, if you use Dualshockers as your source of news, then why are you still using TSA? Surely, if we are “Biased”, we would not be on your list of sites to read?

      • I will say this again. Why has this troll still not been banned?

        Makes me almost embarrassed to say I even have a PS4.

      • Believe it or not, the Xbox Live outage simply slipped through the cracks. While we try to report on most aspects of gaming and are a multiplatform site, we’re still PlayStation-centric, which means that we’re more likely to pick up on PSN going down than we are Xbox Live. Funnily enough, PSN going down is also more relevant and interesting to our readers.

        Apologies for missing the news this time – we’re not bound to our computers at all hours, and this started in the evening and was fixed overnight.

        You’ve been warned previously about making baseless accusations and insinuations, so you’re banned.

        @Steven: You put words in my mouth there, and don’t swear.

      • My bad and swearing won’t happen again. Ok, the flipping, frecking and G rated swears may still appaer but the hardcore stuff won’t. Honestly don’t know why this really peed me off.

        Anyway, back to the regular scheduled nonsense that i am known to post if it suits the article. :) And mentions of dr pepper.

      • Damn, missed his comments. Same old stuff I suppose?

      • Yep. Utter shite being spouted, Avenger. Frustrating to see on TSA because things are usually well-behaved. Can’t say I’ll miss him.

      • Well I’m touched that out of the 20 or so members who have posted on this article, he should reply to my comment specifically and do it with a rant about last night’s XBL outage. You know a troll adores you to bits when that happens.

      • Thank you for putting an end to his months of aggressive rubbish.

      • He’ll be back, I’m sure. He’s like a Terminator sent back in time to wipe out the remnants of the MS resistance and leader of the MS shills (I guess that’s you Avenger) with a relentless barage of nonsense. He doesnt sleep. He doesn’t eat. He just keeps on coming.

  2. bit of an obscure time to tally up quarter 4?
    this is the run up to chrimbo where everyone and their mother will be buying consoles.

  3. PC gaming is mediocre. There are to many factors which make PC gaming inferior, monitor quality, restricted to sitting in front of your desktop, gets expensive etc. It’s not feasible to use Office on a 46″ TV either.

    • Hilariously subjective comment. :-\

    • Monitor quality is the same issue on console with tv quality.
      You can hook your pc up to your tv anyway so that point is moot.
      I don’t think most pc gamers sit huddled at a desk, pc gaming has moved on a lot.

      • Did you not read my last point? Using your TV as a monitor isn’t good. Try using Solidworks or Word on a 46″ TV. It’s not great. Gaming maybe but everything else, no. Nobody wants to carry their heavy PC from a desk to where your TV is located. PC gaming is summed up perfectly in South Park’s WoW episode.

    • I use my laptop hooked up to my TV and surround system for gaming/video/music/web browing. With a wireless mouse, keyboard and controller, no problems and much more scope than a console. When I want to use office I switch screens.

    • Monitor quality is actually on par considering that most people won’t have access to 4k or Ultra HD TVs yet. A full HD monitor is cheaper than a TV. And you use office on a TV? Smooth.

      • Because resolution is ALL that matters? What about contrast ratio, refresh rate, black levels, 24p support.

    • Your views on pc gaming is so false… why bother.

    • PC is not inferior at all, it can be a pain in the ass to people who aren’t upto the task of learning how to fix any issues that arise, but in any other way, they are superior!

      – Graphics potential
      – Wide range of indie titles
      – Cheap game (Steam sales, humblebundle etc)
      – Wide choice of game controllers to use / keyboards – mice
      – Cant say about all, but my monitor looks better than any TV in my house (All Full HD branded TV’s)
      – Game Mods, pick and choose how you want the game to look, generally Bethesda titles look amazing with mods, and make the game better as a whole.
      – No subscriptions to play online
      – Does a heck of a lot more than just playing games
      – +Many more

      Downsides?

      – Initial cost – though this is without doubt negated by the cheap games, i know if i owned as many games on ps4 as i do PC, i would well over £2000
      – People who arent very “IT” could struggle.
      – Miss out on Sony Exclusives.

      • I have a Asus Sabertooth X79,i7 4820k, MSI GTX680 PE Dual SLI, 16GB ram custom built PC. I’ve tried gaming a few times but compared to a PS4, it sucks.

  4. The only reason to game on a PC: piracy

    Plenty of reasons not to: cost of jbitial hardware, coat of hardware upgrades, constant driver upgrades and its woes, system incompatibilities, disk space and install times (has any PC game implemented PS4’s play whilst you download the rest? Will anyone ever?)

    • Reasons to game on the PC:

      • Mouse and keyboard for first person games.
      • Games that don’t come out on the PS4.
      • Games that come to the Xbox One but you don’t have one so you play it on the PC instead.
      • If you have a good quality PC then you can game at higher resolutions, with better effects and generally a better looking image (if that’s the sort of thing that floats your boat).

      Good to see you full of **** as ever. At least you’re consistent. :-)

    • *looks at Steam*

      Suuuure, Piracy.

      Not like PC games have bene around for 30 years(give or take 5 years) and has the ability to mod games or a massive library or customisable hardware. Also, perferences but god forbid if anything positive is said about PC, XBOX, WII, ATARRI, SEGA, THe Vision consoles. Nah, let’s suck up to Sony because fuck having all the platforms being covered.

      Why is this pissing me off so much!? And why is it bringing out a side of me that i dislike!?

      I may need to binge play Xcom for a bit.

    • “jbitial hardware”

      Your autocorrect is on it’s own language!

      • Damn Microsoft Word.,

      • Ha ha, you even blamed that on Microsoft! Legend.

  5. Makes sense. People don’t want to buy a full PC to browse Facebook. However this has as much relevancy to gaming as a wooden spoon.

    Who is buying PCs for gaming from Lenovo, HP, Asus etc? Absolutely no one. They are either custom building or buying them from specialist places such as Overclockers. A 20 second Google shows PC gaming is actually on course to outsell all condole gaming in 2016 – “By the end of 2016, PC game sales are expected to reach $29 billion around the world, compared with $28 billion in sales for the console market, according to a market analysis by PwC”.

    So while the article is interesting as it shows the decline of PCs due to such things as tablets, please dont mistake it as relevant to gaming!

    • Thanks for the perspective (and also saving me typing it in). I read, only last year, about how PC gaming and console gaming were about neck-a-neck which was a lovely thing to find out. Room for everyone as well as a growing industry.

    • Yeah I was gonna post something similar myself.
      I don’t actually know anyone who has bought a gaming rig “off the shelf” so to speak, ever.

    • Those sales figures from PwC are for software, not hardware, refine your Google skills my young padawan! :)

      As I said, Steam is still going great guns and PC games are doing well, hardware – not so much.

      Those “such as Overclockers” should be included in the sales that are down 20%, because people are wising up and upgrading components rather than entire machines. I’ve checked IDC to see if they list the “Others” by name, but only say they “gathers PC market data in over 80 countries by vendor, form factor, brand, processor brand and speed, sales channel and user segment”. With that coverage it’s a pretty good bet the Pro-gaming PC companies are included.

      Will be interesting to see what happens by the middle of this year – will their be a spike for Oculus Rift?

      And yes, this is relevant to gaming. Not all gamers go and buy a £1500 rig, my little nephew had a £400 Lenovo PC at Christmas for gaming, there are plenty of non-hardcore PC gamers. He did buy a keyboard that glows blue and mouse that has more functions than a swiss army knife, if that’s a consolation :)

      He’s got an Xbox One as well though, so he has terrible judgement :P

      • Yeah the PwC figures are software, but it shows that PC gaming in general is going from strength to strength despite these hardware figure. I felt like the article was airing a bit on the “the end of PC gaming is nigh” so I felt the need to point that out.

        As you say, would be interesting to see how much gaming PCs have dropped in sales in favour of people upgrading components (like myself recently).

        I wouldn’t describe myself as a PC hardcore gamer (or much of a gamer at all these days) but it would be safe to assume most PC gamers have a machine built towards gaming, with the exceptions of more branded PCs bought for Xmas, like your nephew, where they are capable of gaming at a more enthusiast level.

        My “this isn’t relevant to gaming” quote was more that this isn’t a sign that PC gaming is falling as well :)

  6. New Nintendo console out this year ?

  7. An interesting article. Shows that the ready made sector is dying. No surprises too. Some of those PCs are way way way overpriced considering what you can get when you build your own PC.

    PC gaming is growing again. Don’t agree with some of the negative comments. As some one who has a PS4 and gaming PC, it compliments the PS4 nicely. Its nice to play some games on both platforms like Rocket League or exclusively like Counterstrike or The Last Of Us.

    It is as expensive as you make it however.

  8. Guessing dismal windows 8.2 (aka windows 10) hasn’t really changed the fact, that more and more people can live without a PC. A PS4 and a tablet will cover most peoples use cases.

    • Except.

      A: Some people don’t like tablets.
      B: Typing letters on a tablet is a pain in the arse.
      C: Tablets have short battery lives.
      D: Get outdated quickly if the provider pulls the support.

      I use a laptop every day for social, job hunting and other purposes. On a tablet, it would drive me insane and PC has a larger library of gaming.

  9. I have friends who boast about PC gaming but it’s not something I’m even the slightest bit interested in.

    I’m not aware of any PC exclusive games and while most multiplat games do look better, the more recent releases are often a complete mess at launch.

    PC gaming may have it’s advantages but console gaming is more than good enough for me.

    • Agreed, somewhat. Pros and cons to everything. Some lovely reasons to game on the PC but the same goes for consoles. Just depends on what you want to play and disposable income, etc. It’s why I have a PC for work (and a game of something) and a PS4 to cover everything else. Means I don’t miss much on the Xbox One either as I can often pick that up on the PC. Ori and the Blind Forest… or Tomb Raider this month (as oppose to waiting for the PS4 version). It’s a good middle-road to cover most bases.

      Ah, there are genres (like RTS) that are catered to supremely well for PC gamers. For consoles, RTS games are few and far between in comparison. The bigger franchises might make it across but PC is where it’s at for the RTS/Strategy fan. Me? Can’t stand the damn genre. Hahaha. :D

  10. I think I read somewhere that sales of tablets were plummeting too? Because people don’t feel the need to upgrade them as often as their phones.

    I’ve had my ipad since 2013 but I’m not planning on upgrading any time soon (or ever). I did look at buying a new MBP last year (to replace my 2011 MBP) but I still want an optical drive and refuse to pay 2K for an MBP and then another £100 on top for an external optical drive. So I’m just sticking with what I’ve got as long as I can. My phone on the other hand is always upgraded every two years.

    I do like Apple (I could never go back to using Windows) but they get worse every year. I want to upgrade but I’m not upgrading for less features than I already have. I’ve actually stopped upgrading the OS on my devices because every new update seems to take something away or strip away useful features. The photo editing app is a prime example.

    • Yeah I heard that about Tablets. I guess they don’t get as much wear as a phone.

      I might be being dumb here but what is the ‘MBP’ you are referring to?

      Apple have for a few years now been accused of planned obsolescence low into their hardware. I hadn’t heard of feature loss through iOS updates before but I guess that would force you to buy apps for those features which Apple gets a cut. Apple is not the only company to do anything like this though.

      I’m on track to keep my phone for three years. If you decide not to go with Another iPhone then there’s plenty choice on Android. Very competitive across all price ranges.

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