DUBAI: Consumers are increasingly looking to enhance their gaming experience. Retailers in the UAE say demand for gaming console peripherals is increasing due to the growing popularity of gaming.

“Gaming is on the rise… people are spending more time gaming… even casual gamers are spending more time… so demand for [peripherals] based around consoles are growing,” said Nadeem Khanzadah, general manager and head of omnichannel retail at Jumbo Electronics, at Gitex Shopper 2016.

The gaming category in its stores has increased this year, he said, adding that sales of Jumbo’s console peripherals and software increased by 15 per cent in the first three quarters of this year compared to the same period in 2015.

The Middle East gaming industry is expected to be worth more than $1 billion (Dh3.67 billion), according to a report from Abu Dhabi media free zone twofour54.

The global gaming peripherals market is forecast to grow at a compound annual growth rate [CAGR] of more than 13 per cent between 2016 and 2020, as per a report from technology research firm Technavio. E-sports leagues are driving market’s growth, it stated. Last year, the Electronic Sports League [ESL], one of the largest e-sports organisations in the world, held a tournament in Dubai.

The gaming peripherals market is highly competitive. “At present, the market is witnessing an increase in demand for premium gaming peripherals whose cost is significantly higher than a regular peripheral, leading to better profit margins for the market players,” Technavio said in the report.

At Jumbo Electronics, the premium console peripherals range is “doing well”, Khanzadah said.

Sony has the largest share in the UAE console and console accessories market (at 70 per cent), he said. Other major players include Microsoft, Razer, Logitech, and Turtle Beach, said Pankaj Kumar, vice-president of SharafDG in the UAE.

“There is increased demand for high end branded head sets, gaming mouse, key boards and mouse pads,” he said.

Other console peripherals that are currently popular in the UAE include customised screens and steering wheels, according to Khanzadah.