UAE - Staying indoors and practicing social distancing means that residents across the UAE are spending more time on their laptops, with many making the decision to upgrade their current models to better enjoy movies, games, and TV shows, experts have said.
"As people spend more of their time indoors, we are seeing an increasing number of residents take up new hobbies or reignite their passions, in a quest to stay entertained," Mohammed Hilili, Lenovo general manager - Gulf & East Africa, told Khaleej Times.
Recent studies, he said, have shown that gaming in particular has experienced a significant uptake in interest, with more people downloading and playing popular titles on their consoles, PCs and smart devices.
"During a time in which self-isolation is absolutely necessary, gaming is enabling communities to remain connected via gameplay, voice, video and text, in the place of physical interactions," Hilili said.
Streaming site Twitch alone experienced its total hourly viewership increase by 10 million in just two weeks this March, while YouTube gaming streams are also up by 15 per cent. These figures and more indicate that people are increasingly turning to gaming as a source of entertainment and a method by which to feel a sense of interaction. Within individual households, cross-generational gaming is also bringing families together, through a variety of educational and competitive formats which boost communication and teamwork.
"For many, gaming is also an ideal way to de-stress and can provide a much needed sense of escapism. As games continue to grow in their level of sophistication, users can immerse themselves in new realities, which can be heightened further with the use of technologies such as AR and VR," Hilili explained.
Similarly, Paul Collins, Acer country manager - Middle East and Africa, noted that over the past month, the brand has witnessed a rush of people updating or buying new devices as a result of the time spent indoors.
"We have also found that, with the rise of e-learning, families are now seeking options to provide one device per child as opposed to one per home," he said. "The influx of people requiring machines to allow them to work from home, learn, and entertain themselves has spiked since the beginning of February and shows no sign of declining. To cater to this demand, we are running on our Nitro and Predator range which will definitely assist customers to buy the right Acer product in this time of need."
Elaborating on the gaming computers segment, Collins said that the last few years has seen the company strive towards innovating its range of products specifically with cooling, sound and screen design. These updated features ensure gamers are getting the most out of their devices, ensuring longer and more enjoyable sessions.
"The gaming market is a large and diverse one, with many classes of gamers and devices ranging from simple mobile phones all the way to devices built for professional gamers, that can cost up to Dh80,000," Collins said. "Within the UAE market, the largest concentration of gamers is those typically looking for a product that will allow them to game at a high level but can also be used for work/school, entertainment and communication. Acer, along with our partners, are assisting gamers and even potential gamers by ensuring our full range of products are available online and at major hypermarkets to suit a variety of needs."
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