Corsair has released its financial results for Q1 2022, and accompanying them are positive thoughts from the peripheral maker’s executives who believe the ridiculous graphics cards shortages and markups that have plagued enthusiasts over the last few years are truly about to be over. Andy Paul, Chief Executive Officer of Corsair, for one, expects the pricing of graphics cards to go back to normal soon, going so far as to believe that they could drop to levels below MSRP—a plausible theory based on how quickly the next generation of GPUs from NVIDIA and AMD are approaching and how some manufacturers and retailers might be looking for ways of clearing out existing stock. The positive forecast has led Corsair to tell investors to expect a substantial increase in self-built gaming PC activity beginning in the second half of 2022.
Andy Paul, Chief Executive Officer of Corsair, stated, “While we faced headwinds in Q1, with inflation, the continued Russia and Ukraine conflict, and high freight costs, we continue to see positive underlying growth trends in the gaming hardware sector. During Q1, GPU cards, which are the most expensive item in a gaming PC, were still at a high premium, roughly 150% of MSRP, and even with this premium we saw gaming PC build activity slightly higher than pre-pandemic and pre-GPU shortage levels. Our components segment grew by 6% in Q1 2022 compared with Q1 2020, the last Q1 before the pandemic and shelter at home. The surge of activity that we saw during the shelter at home period does not appear to have caused a pull forward in builds, more so an entrance of new gamers building for the first time.”
“We expect that GPU cards will be back to MSRP in the near term, perhaps discounted below MSRP. We expect that with GPU and CPU products becoming available and reasonably priced, we will see a surge of self-built gaming PC activity in 2H22 and 2023. We see a similar positive trend with Peripherals. While the market appears to be generally down some 15% to 25%, compared to last year’s peak, it is still substantially above pre-pandemic levels. We grew 77% from Q1 2020 to Q1 2022, and as we outlined in our investor day presentations, we think that the peripheral market will continue to drive 20% to 25% annual growth. We also believe that with our expanding iCUE control software, and innovative new products pipeline, we will continue to take market share. Our latest market share data for Q1 from the United States and Europe, shows that we are in the #1 position in every major category of component that we offer that are used to build gaming PCs, and substantially ahead of our nearest competitors.”