Video games aren't a niche form of entertainment anymore. Truth be told they never were, but they're definitely not in 2021. Everyone and their uncle wants a PS5. Sony has shipped 13.4 million of them so far and there are still millions more of you out there wondering how all those people have managed to find one. Video games are bigger business than ever right now, and the industry is only going to keep on growing at an alarming rate according to DFC Intelligence.

A new report courtesy of DFC has not only revealed spending on video game hardware in 2021 has amassed $82 billion, but by 2026 it predicts that number will hit $135 billion. The trend in almost all forms of technology right now is leaning towards the cloud and the metaverse. Many have predicted that will be the case for gaming too. The thing is, we still need the hardware to play our games on, and that isn't going to change anytime soon.

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DFC's figures don't just include consoles. The billions spent on hardware also accounts for controllers, headsets, keyboards, mice, and various other hardware you need to play games on your PC. It doesn't account for mobile gaming, which makes this year's eye-watering figure and DFC's forecast for 2026 even more impressive.

ps5 and series x
via Microsoft/Sony

The only caveat here, and a possible reason why DFC's forecast might not come true, is the spike generated by the pandemic. As millions of people were locked down in 2020, they turned to video games as a way to pass the time. Nintendo has already found out the hard way that the unexpected numbers it registered last year didn't carry over into 2021. The Switch is still breathing down the neck of 100 million units sold though, so it's not all bad for Nintendo.

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Almost as interesting as the forecast itself is DFC's discovery that not only are we willing to pay more for premium hardware, but we prefer to. While the Switch Lite wasn't welcomed with open arms, the OLED Switch launched last month and is sold out until 2022. The same goes for the Xbox Series X and Series S. While apparently, the latter is performing better than its big sibling in some key markets, it is the easiest new-gen console to find right now.

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