The global gaming PC and monitor market set a new record in 2020, according to IDC.

Needham, Mass. – (work wireThroughout 2020, the global pandemic has created new opportunities for many consumer technologies, and gaming PCs and monitors have arguably been among the biggest beneficiaries. As consumers spend more hours at home and fewer dollars outside, shipments of gaming PCs and monitors grew 26.8% year-over-year in 2020 to 55 million units, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Gaming Tracker. The growth rate and unit size have been the fastest and largest numbers recorded since IDC began tracking this market in 2016.

Aside from the sheer scale, 2020 brought other milestones that could change future trends. North America and Western Europe combined have overtaken the Asia/Pacific region (including Japan) as the largest market for the first time, largely due to demand caused by the shutdown. Gaming laptops remained the largest driver in a year marked by home restrictions. Despite being affected by the lack of a display panel for most of the year, gaming laptops grew at a record rate of 26.9% in 2020 as consumers appreciated their versatility for work and play. In parallel with computers, gaming monitors have also reached new heights in 2020, growing more than 77% compared to 2019 when shipments reached 14.3 million units.

Looking ahead, IDC expects the gaming market to remain a bright spot after the overall PC market returns to more normal replacement cycles after the pandemic. While gaming desktops will continue to fade in favor of laptops, their demise will be for more than just laptops and monitors. For example, IDC expects the size of the gaming screen to exceed the size of gaming desktops for the first time in 2021. Even as the popularity of gaming desktops, excluding the DIY and hardcore gaming segments, has declined in popularity, rising screen-attachment rates to handheld game consoles mean playing games. The monitoring market is expected to witness a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of over 10%. IDC expects this momentum to continue with global volumes reaching 72.9 million in 2025 at a compound annual growth rate of 5.8%.

“Unfortunately, the supply of gaming PCs has decreased recently, and while the reason may be in part from cryptocurrency mining, the massive demand for these products and the growth in the player base is the root cause of the shortage,” said Jitesh Ubrani. Director of Research at IDC’s Worldwide Mobile and Consumer Device Trackers. “New GPUs, new games, additional ray tracing support, and demand growth have also driven up average selling prices through 2020 and are likely to remain at these high levels in 2021.”

“Just like the laptop market, monitors have also faced a shortage of panel components and high demand,” said Jay Chou, director of research at IDC’s Worldwide PC Monitor Tracker. “OEMs must be wise about where to allocate scarce resources and it makes sense to meet gaming monitor demand as commercial purchasing and office occupancy in many markets remains weak. IDC expects gaming monitors to capture an increasingly larger share of the total monitor market in the coming years.”

PC gaming forecast by product category, 2020-2025 (shipments in millions)










Shipments *






Shipments *






compound annual growth rate






























Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly Gaming Device Tracker, March 29, 2021

* Note table: The numbers represent forecast data.

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International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market information, advisory services and events for the information and communications technology and consumer technology markets. With more than 1,100 analysts worldwide, IDC provides global, regional and local expertise in technology, industry opportunities, and trends in more than 110 countries. IDC’s analysis and insight helps IT professionals, executives, and the investment community make fact-based technology decisions and achieve their key business goals. Founded in 1964, IDC is a wholly owned subsidiary of the International Data Group (IDG), the world’s leading technology media, data and marketing company. To learn more about IDC, please visit Follow IDC on Twitter at @IDC and LinkedIn. Subscribe to the IDC blog for industry news and insights:

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