Gaming hardware sales in Saudi Arabia, UAE surge by 29% in H1 2020

Gaming notebooks (32%), video game consoles (31%), and gaming and leisure devices (17%) account for the top three largest shares of the pie

Teenager playing games on PC. Image used for illustrative purpose.

Teenager playing games on PC. Image used for illustrative purpose.

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One of the few sectors that have been positively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, achieving robust growth as a result of spikes in consumer demand during the lockdown, is gaming. According to GfK Point of Sales tracking of the sector in Saudi Arabia and the UAE, the first six months revenue generated by gaming hardware surged by 29 percent, bringing the overall value of the market to $256 million.

Gaming notebooks (32 percent), video game consoles (31 percent), and gaming and leisure devices (17 percent) account for the top three largest shares of the pie, contributing more than $207 million to this sector from January to June. During this period, the fastest growing categories were gaming monitors and gaming keyboards/mice, which generated 110 and 77 percent respectively more sales revenue compared to the same period last year. Exponential growth was also recorded for gaming notebooks and gaming headsets, both of which reported a 60 percent surge in sales value.

Growth in the gaming segments tracked by GfK was sustained post lockdown in the two markets. Findings in the second quarter reflected devices such as gaming monitors and keyboards continuing to record increased sales by over twofold (+155 percent and +135 percent), while regular monitors (-22 percent) and keyboards (-12 percent) either decelerated in growth or slipped into decline. Similar trends can be seen across the other products such as notebooks, headsets, peripherals, etc.

“At the onset of the global pandemic, we witnessed the emergence of diverse trends in the technical consumer goods markets, sequenced over multiple phases — panic, adapt and new normal,” said Shika Samuel, analyst for IT panel at GfK. “We observed consumers warming up their appetite for gaming devices as they started exploring socially distant ways to keep themselves occupied and amused amid the pandemic lockdown.”

Samuel added: “Technological developments and innovations in the digital space, including the highly anticipated rollout of 5G will continue to fuel the rapid growth of gaming globally, post pandemic.”

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