Consumer electronics retailers in Australia are banking on demand for PC gaming products to deliver growth in 2020 after the category delivered 15% growth during the last six months of 2019 with the Asia Pacific market which is dominated by Australia delivering double digit growth.
According to new GFK data the PC gaming market which is delivering growth for brands such as Logitech MSI, Acer and Dell was worth more than A$9 Billion dollars last year with retailers including JB Hi Fi, Harvey Norman and hundreds of specialist PC resellers expanding their product offerings in this category.
Retailers are now being warned that growth will slow in 2020 and that as the market matures, the growth rates of gaming desktops and notebooks will flatten out.
In the first six months of 2019, gaming OEM laptops accounted for 18 percent of the total turnover with brands such as Acer with their Predator and Nitro offerings dominating the top end of the market.
On average, gaming desktops cost 2.4 times the price of non-gaming ones, while gaming notebooks were 1.8 times the cost of a standard notebook gaming monitors also delivered increased margin of 1.8 times compared to the non-gaming devices.
In the accessory market a gaming mouse at 2.4 times the price of a non-gaming device, while a gaming keyboard with an average selling price of A$71 sells at 1.8 times a non-gaming keyboard.
While gaming devices are more expensive they offer enhanced performance and contribute to a better gaming experience – and these factors are particularly important to gamers.
GFK said that this perception was a big “margin driver for the industry and retailers”.
After multiple quarters of outstanding double-digit growth, the demand for gaming OEM desktops in the first half of 2019 was dropped 4% due in part to a slowdown in demand from Asian markets.
Gaming OEM notebooks continued their success story and grew by 12 percent, generating $3.5 billion turnover. APAC delivered strong double-digit growth.
The unlock key is that gamers that include a large percentage of female players want performance and size – but at the right price
GFK Analysts claim that “Performance is critical for superior gaming experiences and that’s why gamers pay tremendous attention to the components in their gaming devices”.
The gaming notebook with the best-selling configuration in the first half of 2019 included a Hybrid Hard Drive of 1TB+128GB, 8GM of RAM, a 15.6” full HD display and a mid-range CPU and GPU.
Nearly 70 percent of all gaming notebooks sold in the first half year of 2019 were priced between A$1,194 and A$1,940 (up from 57 percent compared to the first half year of 2017).
Gaming desktops below $1,194 achieved nearly 30 percent unit share within the gaming OEM desktops category. Those priced above $2,000 accounted for 12 percent.
Hybrid Hard Drive (HD) and Hard Disk Drives are typical for gaming PCs.
However, gamers are increasingly demanding Solid State Drives (SSD) for their gaming laptops.
Their share in the first half of 2019 rose to 15 percent in value, up from 4 percent a year ago.
SSD and Hybrid HD have another benefit – they allow for thinner gaming laptops.
As a result, devices less than 25mm in width accounted for one in every three gaming notebooks sold in first six months of the year.
Demand grows for curved monitors
Gaming monitors were the fastest growing segment with an increase of 42 percent and a turnover reaching $1.79 billion in the first six months of the year.
Gamers love immersive experiences, and this is providing tailwinds to the demand for curved gaming monitors. They achieved a growth of 61 percent in value terms – outperforming the rest of the market (+31 percent).
Performance is also key for gaming monitors. Gaming monitors with a refresh rate of at least 100Hz were in big demand with the market growing 70 percent in the period from January to June 2019.
Those with a refresh rate below 100Hz grew by 24 percent.
The Netflix of gaming?
Gamers are quick to embrace new technology, and streaming media has been no exception claims GFK.
Today, the promise of cloud gaming services is exciting the gaming market. The “Netflix for games” might intensify competition for consumer attention and spending and could change the market dynamics, if the consumers are satisfied with the value proposition and the gameplay experience.
GFK analyst Pavlin Lazarov, said “Linear gaming has grown into a multi-platform gaming, on PC, console and smartphone, streaming and watching on video platforms, are integral to gamers’ engagement”.
“The gaming experience could be further enhanced through cloud computing and 5G”.
He said that “Gaming gear and hardware have been a key enabler for rich experiences and, although the landscape might be changing, the desire for immersive gameplay will remain”.