Business | Technology

PlayStation 4 in UAE gets strong pre-order demand

Four retailers accepting pre-bookings for hotly anticipated games console

  • By Naushad K Cherrayil, Staff Reporter
  • Published: 13:15 July 23, 2013
  • Gulf News

Dubai: Four retailers are accepting the pre-bookings for the next generation computer entertainment system — PlayStation 4 — console and games in the UAE and the response has been very encouraging.

The four retailers are Geekay Games, Sharaf DG, Virgin Megastore and Jumbo Electronics. The standalone 500GB device is priced at Dh1,699 and Dh200 for each game (Kill Zone and Driver Club).

The standalone device will cost $399 in the US, £349 in the UK and €399 in Europe.

“The pre-bookings have been fantastic so far. It is one of the most pre-ordered game consoles ever. We will touch more than 1,000 orders before launch,” Kishan Deepak Palija, Managing Director of Geekay Games, one of the largest games distributor in the UAE, told Gulf News.

He said that at least 15-18 titles are expected to be available at launch and there will be around 50 titles by April 2014. Mostly people will buy one or two games initially.

Even though only two games are accepted for pre-bookings, Geekay is accepting pre-orders for 12 titles. “We work very closely with gaming retailers,” Palija said.

“We have seen a high demand for PS4 pre-order bookings, especially as it is linked to Virgin Megastore’s ‘Switch’ programme, which is the UAE’s only used games trading section. Customers can receive Dh100 free credit on their Switch account when they pre-order from Virgin Megastore (limited time offer ending in September),” said Ahmad Ebrahim, multimedia product manager at Virgin Megastore Mena.

Virgin has seen a consistent number of pre-orders daily going up to the double digits and expect the demand to grow significantly after Eid, as Ramadan is typically a slower shopping season.

According to Nadeem Khanzadah, head of sales at Jumbo Electronics, Jumbo started accepting pre-bookings only a week ago.

“As we come closer to the launch date, the demand is expected to pick up. The initial stocks will be limited and that is why pre-ordering is important for early adaptors,” Khanzadah said.

He said that PS3 was launched almost with the same price point as PS4, but PS4 has more features than PS3. Online gaming has improved further since the launch of PS3.

“We expect a better off take than PS3 initially,” Khanzadah explained.

Other retailers are waiting for more update from Sony about the launch date and the number of titles.

“We will start pre-bookings once we get more clarity from Sony,” said Ashish Panjabi, COO of Jacky’s Electronics.

“Sony hasn’t announced a confirmed date about the launch and the number of titles,” said May Al Houshai, gaming marketing manager at Sony Gulf.

Most of the retailers said that the device is expected to be available by end of November of beginning of December.

As far as Sony as announced, Palija said that PS3 games are not compatible with PS4. The games are likely to be available on the PlayStation network where users could download.

PS4 is centred on a single-chip custom processor with eight cores. It has 8GB of ultra-fast GDDR5 unified system memory.

“As a console, PS4 console is much better than PS3. It has much more functionality and technologically advanced than PS3 as it was launched six years ago. It will become more social,” he said.

There are more than 750 games released on PS3 so far. Several classics are available for download on the PlayStation Network (PSN).

Fact Box

Microsoft’s Xbox One will only be available next year in the region, retailers said.

“Xbox One has great online services and they have got good gaming tie-ups with publishers. If Microsoft can get the content what is available in the US to this region, it can become a good competitor to PS4,” said Kishan Deepak Palija, Managing Director of Geekay Games.

When asked whether Xbox One or PS4 is more advanced, both Palija and Jumbo’s Nadeem Khanzadah said that PS4 is better than Xbox One as per western media. PS4 is rated higher and better than Xbox one

Palija said that both the consoles have ups and downs. “We will come to know more about the devices at GamesCom, which is to be held in August in Germany.”

_ N.K.C.

Gulf News
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