UAE, Saudi gamers spend $256mln as COVID-19 fuels growth in hardware market

Users stocked up on new consoles, devices during lockdown

  
Image used for illustrative purpose. Young man sitting at his PC, playing computer games.

Image used for illustrative purpose. Young man sitting at his PC, playing computer games.

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A spike in demand from stay-at-home customers during Covid-19 lockdowns has fueled growth in the gaming hardware market in the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

Data company GfK Point of Sales said gaming has been one of the few sectors positively impacted by the pandemic, as users stocked up on new consoles, devices and gaming notebooks.

The first six months of 2020 generated $256 million in revenues, a 29 percent increase on the same period in 2019.

Sales of gaming notebooks grew  by 32 percent, consoles by 31 percent and leisure devices by 17 percent, contributing a combined total of $207 million in revenues.  

The fastest-growing categories were gaming monitors and gaming keyboards and mice, for which sales went up by 110 and 77 percent, respectively. 

There was also a significant growth for gaming notebooks and gaming headsets, which both s a 60 percent surge in sales.

“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, 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.”

Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) games gained ground as a way for users to keep fit during lockdown, with the industry growing by 46 percent to reach $1.5 million in value in the first half of 2020, said GfK.

Technological advances, including the arrival of 5G, will fuel further growth in gaming post-pandemic, GfK concluded.

(Writing by Imogen Lillywhite; editing by Cleofe Maceda)

Imogen.lillywhite@refinitiv.com

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