Dubai: If you’re on the hunt for new games or consoles, then Gitex Shopper may be your play field this week, as the consumer electronics event offers gamers everything from chairs to wheels.
The regional gaming industry is showing indicators of growth, according to major players in the field.
The Middle East’s online-gaming industry is alone worth an estimated $100 million (Dh367 million).
For Sony, growth estimates were moving from $540 million (Dh2 billion) this year, to $740 million (Dh2.72 billion) next year, according to Sony PlayStation head Robert Fisser.
Aman Sangar, regional head of Microsoft Interactive Entertainment said emerging markets in the worldwide gaming industry showed growth of 62 per cent over the last five years, but the Middle East region recorded 167 per cent growth over the same period.
Globally, video games saw a shift from packaged software and hardware towards digital gaming continued throughout 2011, according to a report by Euromonitor International titled Toys and Games: Key trends, Developments and Prospects.
“Both hardware and packaged software value sales contracted due to the console cycle, posting a 3 per cent and 2 per cent decline, respectively, compared to an 18 per cent gain for digital gaming. Hand-held video games consoles was the only category to put in a positive performance in video games (outside of digital gaming) thanks mainly to the launch of Nintendo 3DS in 2011,” the report stated.
Gulf News asks electronics retailers for the latest and hottest gaming items on stock at Gitex Shopper this year.
1. The Emperor 1510 gaming chair
PRICE: Dh28,000 (chair only), Dh60,000 (chair, three Samsung screens, Alienware computer system).
WHAT: A gaming chair with a scorpion-shaped outline designed for serious couch-potato gamers who spend long hours in front of a monitor.
“Gamers who play online stay for up to eight hours, so it’s a perfect choice for them. It’s very comfortable and they won’t be tired,” one store manager said.
The chair is comfortable as far as seating goes but feels vaguely like being at the dentist’s. It tilts backwards and forward, has LED lighting, a small but powerful Bose sound system and comes in white or black (which is more expensive at Dh31,999 for the chair alone).
Additional options—at a significantly higher price—are the three flat-screen Samsung monitors and an Alienware system, a division of Dell that specializes in making high-end gaming computers. This is the Area 51 model, 3 GB graphics, 16 GB ram, and speed of 3.3 megahertz.
Released in the UAE in July, the chair is expected to attract attention from gamers from the UAE, Qatar and the GCC, retailers say. However, cargo and IT support outside the UAE will be tough for out-of-town buyers, they noted.
There will be an Alienware Experience Zone by Dell at Gitex Shopper, where gamers can try out the gaming desktops for themselves.
During a special event to mark the launch of the latest Alienware products, gamers will get the chance to go head to head with members of the Ukranian multigaming e-sports organization Navi. The competition runs from Sept 30 to Oct 2nd from 8pm to 10pm at Golden Hall, Karama.
2. Licensed PS3 Interactive Gaming Chair (Middle East launch)
WHAT: If you’re going to plop down for hours to play a game, you should find the best seat in the house. This gaming chair is launching for the first time in the Middle East after making an appearance in Europe. Officially licensed by Sony for Playstation 3, the chair promises the experience of every piece of action on the battlefield and racetrack.
So what’s interactive about it? Crank up the Quad Motor Vibration System and your whole body feels the action—every shot fired, every corner rounded—as it unfolds. It’s also got a built in 2.1 stereo speaker and is fully compatible with the PlayStation®Vita system.
The company, 4gamers, claims the chair is 39percent larger than conventional models.
In terms of comfort, it is padded, has a raised headrest and has pockets on both sides of the chair to store games and accessories. Folds away for storage.
3.Playseat Evolution Alcantara
WHAT: Looking for real action behind the wheel? The Playseat is a racing cockpit simulator and can be used with any game console to your racing experience more dynamic. This is Playseat’s first launch in the Middle East. It is compatible with compatible with the Playstation2®, Playstation3®, Xbox®, Xbox 360®, Wii® Gaming Consoles and PCs.
WHAT: If a Ferrari is just out of your budget at the moment, it may still possible to get behind the wheel of these supercars. The Ferrari F1 Integral Wheel can be used for Playstation 3 and PC. It is licensed by Ferrari and looks like the steering wheels used in F1 cars. If you’re an F1 fan, you’re in for a spin.
5.Turtle Beach Gaming Headsets
WHAT: These have been voted as the best gaming headset brand four times this year, including the Best Buy Bravo! Award.
WHAT: Launched in July 2012, this lightweight quadcopter can be controlled by wi-fi through your smartphone or tablet. It’s got an upgraded HD camera on the front that can record your piloting adventures, close calls, dramatic manoeuvres and your attempt to land it on a co-worker’s head right on your phone to view later. Or activate the USB recording option to save your recording directly on a USB instead. With the camera, you can take photos or see aerial views as the drone flies high. Downloading the AR.FreeFlight application allows you to fly AR.Drone and by tilting your device (phone or tablet) you control the direction of the drone. With a wi-fi connection you can fly it up to 165 feet away.
7.Republic of Gamers (ROG) gaming laptops and desktops
PRICE: Dh17,999 for the Desktop CG8890 (X79)
WHAT: Gaming fans can get a hands-on experience trying out these machines by Asus for themselves during Gitex Shopper. The Republic of Gamers TYTAN CG8890 has an i7 processor, 16GB of ram, Nvidia GTX 690 graphics card and a 4.2 gigahertz CPU.
Retailers are looking to lure gamers in with a variety of the latest games out there including the newly launched FIFA 13 (Dh269). They will focus on some of the top-selling gaming consoles such as the MS Xbox 360 Slim (Dh1,699) with 250 GB hard drive with built-in Wi-Fi and five USB ports, promising bundles and offers on these.
Also featured are the Sony PS Vital handheld with 3G connectivity and option for two gamers to play and the Sony PS3 with 320 GB (including one controller and one game for Dh1,299).