Dubai: Forget high-definition TVs and DSLR cameras. This year’s big-ticket items at Gitex Shopper are all about professional gaming.
Retailers and tech manufacturers at the consumer electronics show say that PC gaming is becoming a big trend especially as gaming titles become more interesting, creative, and realistic. This, in turn, is translating into a spike in sales as more hobbyists enter the market and as serious gamers look to update their laptops.
“There is big demand for high-end gaming machines,” said Ramesh Ramachandran, retail head for the Middle East and Turkey at Dell Technologies, which is showcasing its products at Gitex.
“If you look at year-on-year numbers, too, as per [research provider] GfK, the market has grown — the overall addressable market has grown and especially the $1,500-plus category has grown. Serious gamers are demanding high-end machines with higher capabilities, so we see a good market there.”
Dell said it is capitalising on demand at Gitex to locally launch its latest high-performance gaming laptops — the Dell XPS 13, Alienware M15 R2, and Alienware M17 R2. The Alienware devices come with either Core i7 or Core i9 Intel processors, and will set you back Dh9,499 to Dh14,999.
Ramachandran said that gamers are increasingly looking for high-performance machines that are also portable — meaning they must be thin and weigh less than 2.5kg. The M15 R2 laptop is now Alienware’s thinnest and lightest 15-inch device ever, at 2.1kg and 20.5-mm thickness.
Pankaj Kumar, head of omni-channel retail at Jumbo Electronics, echoed that, saying that demand in gaming laptops is geared towards devices with high performance and slimmer chassis.
“The key consideration for gaming laptops is the GPU (graphics card) performance as compared to regulator laptops where customers look at the main processor performance,” he said.
“While professional gamers are obviously a core segment for higher-end laptops, the growth is being driven by gaming enthusiasts who are looking to upgrade to newer laptops with better performance.”
Kumar said that improved pricing on mid-range laptops, which are now available at prices about 15 per cent lower than their launch prices, is also driving demand on gaming laptops.
Other high-end launches at Gitex for gaming laptops include the Asus ROG Mothership, which retails at Dh24,999, and the dual-screen HP Omen X, retailing at Dh13,999.
Organisers of the event earlier told Gulf News that gaming will be a key area for growth at this year’s Gitex, and that they were organising PC and console tournaments for visitors as well as deals on gaming products.
A note from GfK earlier this month said the overall video games industry is expected to see $140 billion in turnover in 2019. When it comes to PC gaming specifically, the market has turned from a niche one to a larger ecosystem over the last few years, with more gaming notebooks sold year-on-year, GfK said.
The note pointed that the launch of 5G technology could offer a leap in gaming, especially when it comes to action games where every millisecond may make a difference.