Date of Defense
Date of Graduation
This study arose from a conversation with my roommate about the state of the gaming industry in terms of devices on which consumers play. We perceived a shift in our attitudes towards gaming PCs due to Covid-19 and other aspects. I wondered if this affected a wider population. If this change in attitude was widespread, it would affect different companies in the gaming industry as well and would alter consumer behavior related to large purchases in the gaming industry.
To examine these issues, I conducted five in depth interviews and administered a survey developed through Qualtrics to two WMU business classes, as well as the WMU Honors College. The findings from the interviews served as underpinning information, as all interviewees had been heavy users of games throughout most of their life and all owned some type of gaming device. Based on the interviews, I identified four main themes. The themes were: upgrading, investment, learning curve, and age distinction. These topics were explored further as they emerged from each interview and informed the composition of the questions in the survey.
In the survey, I collected a wide range of quantitative data about consumer’s feelings, perceptions, and future attitudes related to gaming devices. I compared them to the themes found in my interviews and saw similarities in all themes other than age distinction. I also included several open-ended questions in the survey and received mixed responses based on how much the respondents game. Some respondents did not see the need for a PC, whereas others saw it as something that they use almost exclusively every day for both work and entertainment purposes. Some of the main findings from the survey, including the themes of upgradability, investment, and learning curve, were consistent with the interviews. Respondents agreed that these factors were critical in the decision to purchase a PC. The theme of age distinction was not as relevant in the survey, with the relationship between consoles used and age differences not proving to be significant. In addition, most individuals saw remote work as a phenomenon that would be part of the work culture for the coming years.
This study suggests a number of recommendations for console companies. First, console companies should improve their devices specifications to keep heavy users from upgrading to a PC. Second, they should also provide more console exclusive content as most survey users stated that this is why they own certain devices. Finally, they need to keep their prices lower than that of PCs as this is the main reason consumers purchase consoles over PCs. Recommendations for PC companies are to market their device as a dual device, as consumers want something that does more than entertain. They should also market their device as the last device that consumers should purchase, giving the consumers the ability to continually upgrade their device and continue to make it faster. They need to work to make prices competitive but not lower them to that of a console as this would lower the perceived value of the PC in the consumer mind. Finally, they should target heavy users of other consoles to convince them to upgrade. This population of consumers are the most likely to purchase a PC and would require the least amount of effort to convert to PCs.
Limitations of this study were present, with the main limitation being Covid-19. It meant that all of my meetings with the exception of the interviews were online. My survey and interviews were also limited to certain people as my study focused on individuals who owned a gaming device. Finally, my interviewees were all male and this left out female qualitative data.
Future research in this field of study should focus on different issues that were revealed in the interviews and survey. One would be to appraise devices that remote workers use and to explore that further. Another would be to examine non-users and light-users of gaming devices to gauge consumer behavior surrounding this population. Finally, I would like to research the theme of age distinction further to uncover more information regarding devices consumers use and age of the consumer.
Sanderson, Jacob, "Remote Careers and Entertainment: The Shift from Gaming Console Entertainment to PC Capabilities" (2020). Honors Theses. 3358.
Honors Thesis-Open Access