Even though traditional PC sales are heading southward, PC gaming as a category is heading northward due to the growing youth population and the government’s support by holding e-sports competitions in Dubai.
“E-sports market is developing in the UAE and the local private teams are taking part in e-sports tournaments,” Isam Arshad, research analyst at Euromonitor, told TechRadar Middle East.
Dubai held the world finals of the Girl Gamer e-sports Festival, the largest all-female gaming competition in the world.
Moreover, Arshad said that e-sports are the next new revenue stream for the entertainment sector in the UAE due to the high internet penetration rate, youthful demographics and hot weather. So, the region is a perfect place for “high adoption of e-sports” despite in its infancy.
According to industry reports, gaming revenues in the UAE were estimated to have reached AED 1.2b last year.
According to Fouad R. Charakla, senior research manager at International Data Corporation (IDC), there will be a marginal decline of 3.8% in the third-quarter PC sales to 305,810 units compared to 318,016 units a year ago, due to weak consumer confidence.
He said that the commercial segment is expected to grow but the consumer segment will decline drastically.
“Businesses require PCs to keep their operations running and hence can’t keep postponing PC purchases, additionally, due to the end of support for Windows 7 nearing, several organizations are considering refreshing their PC itself, which has also acted as a driver for PC sales,” he said.
Gaming PC to grow 5% in third quarter
As consumer demand suffers, overall laptop shipments will decline by around 10% while healthy commercial demand will enable overall desktop shipments to grow by around 14% year on year, he said.
Despite weak consumer confidence, he said the gaming PC segment will grow by around 5% year on year.
The full-year PC market is expected to decline by 9.3% to 1.2m in 2019 compared to 1.3m in 2018.
Pankaj Kumar, head of omnichannel retail at Jumbo Electronics, said that gaming laptops, from mid- to high-end, is growing fast and contributes to around 10% of its overall PC sales.
Within gaming, he said that all major four brands – Asus, HP, Lenovo and Dell – are growing but Asus will be taking the lead as their average selling prices are higher.
“Overall PC sales are better than last year. For the last three years, the sales were declining by around 20% but this year, it is almost stable. We sell on average around 250 units a month,” Kumar said.
Stagnant consoles market
However, Kumar said the consoles market are stagnant.
“All the new software launches for consoles are going to happen from now on. So, for the first eight months of the year, console and software sales are almost flat,” he added.
According to IDC, even the shipments of gaming monitors in the Middle East and Africa increased 62.5% year on year in the second quarter of the year.
The top three brands in this space – Samsung, LG, and Dell – accounted for 62.8% share of the gaming market in the second quarter and the growing trend is fueling growing demand for larger screen sizes, particularly 21.5, 24 and 27-inch monitors.
Ramesh Ramachandran, retail head for Dell Middle East and Africa, said that gaming has always been our forte.
“We have products starting from G3 (entry-level) up to high-performance Alienware. We have launched our latest gaming M15r2 laptop at Gitex, it is the thinnest Alienware without compromising on performance. It is priced from AED 9,299 up to AED14,999 while the gaming laptop prices start from AED 3,699 up to AED 20,000,” he said.
Moreover, Ramachandran said that the gaming sector is growing year on year in the region and it is a big chunk of their overall Dell PC sales.