Delhi: PC and console gaming grows due to covid-19 induced shift in habits
Several PC brands have reported up to 3 times increase in sales of gaming laptops within the last 2-3 months. Sales of gaming consoles including Sony PlayStation 4 have also doubled in recent months.
Following the easing of lockdown curbs, Asus has witnessed 3 times increase in sales of gaming laptops as compared to pre-covid-19 era. They sold over 80% of the recently launched 14-inch Zephyrus G14 which starts at ₹80,000 and goes up to ₹1.6 lakhs within 24 hours of sale.
“Last year gaming laptops accounted for 8% of overall laptop market. This year we expect it to grow by 300,000 to 400,000 units. The 60k-80k segment which accounts for 40-45% of India market, has seen the foremost traction as laptops within the segment are affordable and quite powerful,” said Arnold Su, business head, Consumer & Gaming PC, System Business Group, Asus India.
Among rivals, MSI witnessed a 3 times increase in social media queries for gaming notebooks and 1.5 times increase in actual sales of gaming notebooks in recent months. Green Chang-Ching Lin, regional marketing manager, MSI, points out that, from June demand for powerful notebooks increased as consumers wanted devices that would meet their work also as gaming requirements.
“This isn’t a sudden shift. Overall gaming trend has increased in India over the years. within the last 2-3 years, many of the console games like PUBG and Call of Duty were adapted and released on mobile devices. After experiencing these games on smartphones, many mobile gamers have wanted to upgrade to PC and console version for the simplest experience for quite a while ,” said Jaipal Singh, associate research manager, Client Devices, International Data Corporation (IDC) India.
Singh explained that in the lockdown, when most of the people were stuck reception , gaming emerged as a preferred mode of entertainment especially for millennials. the very fact that PC vendors also are launching gaming laptops at affordable prices and with big discounts is additionally enabling many of the mobile gamers to upgrade.
In addition to gaming laptops, gaming consoles too are getting tons of traction, albeit they need limited usability as compared to laptops. Also, despite the very fact that Sony and Microsoft are expected to launch new and more powerful consoles sometime this year, sales of existing consoles have grown after lockdown rather than stagnating.
“PS4 sales have doubled in Q1 FY20 (April-June) as compared to Q4 FY19 (January-March). There has been an impressive 200%+ growth in peripheral sales also , which indicates an attitudinal shift, making gaming a more inclusive family entertainment option in India. May and June 2020 have witnessed the very best ever sales,” said Prosenjit Ghosh, Head of PlayStation Business, Sony India.
Sony has also been bundling free games with PS4, as bundled offerings provide ease to customers, and makes the deal more attractive, adds Ghosh