The number of news stories about gaming displays that we post has increased significantly in the past couple of years. Established suppliers have broadened their lineups of gaming LCDs, and meanwhile new players have decided to join the party. Apparently, our coverage has been reflecting market sales trends, as sales of such monitors have been increasing at a rapid pace. According to WitsView, shipments of displays with a 100 Hz refresh rate or higher (i.e., gaming LCDs) will exceed five million units in 2018. Moreover, over half of them will be curved monitors.

Curved Gaming LCDs Leave Flat Displays Behind

Global sales of gaming displays with high refresh rates are expected to reach 5.1 million units in 2018, an annual growth of 100%, reports WitsView, a division of TrendForce. This is still a small fraction of the 126 million total LCDs projected to be sold in 2018 (up 1.5% year-over-year), according to the company. The researchers attribute the growing demand for displays with high refresh rates to recommendations from game developers, with groups such as the PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds devs recommended 144 Hz+ displays. Meanwhile, it is evident that as the number of available models on the market is increasing, their prices are getting lower and gamers are more inclined to buy them.

One interesting point about gaming displays in general is that 54% of gaming LCDs sold this year will be curved monitors, leaving only 46% of them to be flat. Last year 77% of gaming displays were flat and only 23% were curved, according to WitsView. Shipments of around 2.75 million units is a big win for curved LCDs at large. In fact, keeping in mind that there are even more numerous curved models with refresh rates below 100 Hz, it is safe to say that sales of such displays in general will clearly surpass 5 million units, up from around a million in 2015. Since price difference between curved and flat monitors is diminishing, curved displays are no longer penalized with a price premium.

ASUS Leading the Pack

When it comes to suppliers of gaming displays, ASUS has been leading the pack for quite a while now, and this year was no exception. Acer maintained its second spot in 2018. By contrast, BenQ left the Top 4 and the third place now belongs to TPV, which sells products under AOC and Philips brands and is particularly successful in the Chinese, European, and APAC markets. Samsung moved up to fourth place (from the No. 5 spot) after expanding its gaming lineup with numerous new models in 2017 – 2018 timeframe, including the world’s first FreeSync 2-supporting monitors and numerous curved models of various sizes. It is noteworthy that 95% of Samsung’s gaming displays are curved.

Top Suppliers of Gaming LCDs in 2017 - 2018
Data by WitsView, December 2018
Ranking 2017 2018
2 Acer Acer
3 BenQ AOC/Philips
4 AOC/Philips Samsung
Shipments 2.5 million 5.1 million

Other vendors with impressive sales growth in 2018 noted by WitsView are MSI, HKC, and SDC. The latter two are particularly successful in China, whereas MSI is promoting its Optix gaming displays globally. Meanwhile, general LCD market leaders like Dell, HP, Lenovo, and LG are not exactly among the frontrunners on the market of gaming monitors.

Top LCD Suppliers: 2017 - 2018
Data by WitsView, October 2018
2017 2018
Ranking Brand Market Share Ranking Brand Market Share
1 Dell 18.5% 1 Dell 19.6%
2 AOC/Philips 13.5% 2 HP 13.8%
3 HP 12.7% 3 AOC/Philips 13.1%
4 Lenovo 9.8% 4 Lenovo 9.6%
5 Samsung 9.6% 5 LG 8.7%
6 LG 9.3% 6 Samsung 7.6%
7 Acer 6.0% 7 Acer 6.8%
Others - 20.5% Others - 20.8%
Shipments - 123.7 million Shipments - 125.6 million

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Source: WitsView/TrendForce

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  • prophet001 - Friday, December 7, 2018 - link

    I guess for FPS to have a wider field on vision?
  • stephenbrooks - Friday, December 7, 2018 - link

    I wonder if they'll add features to graphics drivers to adjust the 3D projection to be correct for a curved monitor?
  • Opencg - Saturday, December 8, 2018 - link

    Not likely. Tranformation matrix for vertices would leave small gaps between geometry edges that would be unsightly. The technique used for vr reduces visual quality or requires alot more processing power. Combine this with the fact the developers dont like to develop features like this and you have a trifecta of this shit never getting supported.
  • stephenbrooks - Saturday, December 8, 2018 - link

    Ah, right, because the projected triangles are no longer triangular! Still, they could do it for raytracing I guess, since that treats each pixel separately.
  • limitedaccess - Friday, December 7, 2018 - link

    Is it causation or correlation though?

    The cheapest 144hz displays are actually curved VAs now. The only 1080p 144hz non TN displays are those curved VAs.

    Curved VAs are basically extremely price competitive across the spectrum. If you want a VA at all they're curved.

    At least anecdotally see a lot of the times people are buying those displays despite the curve due to the other characteristics of the display (no flat equivalent) as opposed to because of the curve.

    Next year will supposedly finally bring in more high refresh IPS options with LG entering the field including to cheaper 24 inch class 1080p options from both AUO and LG. If that means lower prices there will be more mass market choices outside of the current expensive higher resolution only options.
  • Lolimaster - Saturday, December 8, 2018 - link

    I hate IPS crappy contrast, backlight bleed and even worse, IPS GLOW at night. Displaying any kind of dark content with the lights off is basically EYE CANCER.
  • Matthmaroo - Monday, December 10, 2018 - link

    Wow that’s a bit dramatic
  • GreenReaper - Monday, December 10, 2018 - link

    Just wait until you get it. Then your eyes won't stop glowing from all the radiotherapy!
  • Vayra - Monday, December 17, 2018 - link

    Its true though, for gaming, IPS makes absolutely no sense.
  • Lolimaster - Saturday, December 8, 2018 - link

    I just want a nice 3000-5000:1 28" 1440p glossy VA.

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