“There’s no doubt that COVID-19 has made a significant positive contribution to the gaming landscape this year,” Morris Garrard, Research Analyst at Futuresource Consulting said in a statement. “Yet consumer interest was already rising, and the pandemic has simply applied an additive effect. Self-isolation orders created a surge in gaming peripherals, not only for gaming purposes, but also for use when working from home. All of this combined activity across gaming headsets, speakers, keyboards and mice will result in shipments of 97.8 million units, generating a retail value of $4.2 billion by year end.”
Headsets lead the way in Gaming Audio
With over 40% of the worldwide gaming accessories retail market value, gaming headsets account for the lion’s share of the market, with Futuresource forecasting 26% year-on-year volume growth in 2020. However, price sensitive, non-gaming consumers opted for entry-level models during the demand spike in H1, resulting in volume outstripping the growth in retail value this year.
“When it comes to features, spatial audio is the one to watch,” says Garrard. “It delivers cinema-like surround sound and 3D audio to headphones. Its promotion as a gaming headset USP as well as inclusion in next generation console hardware will drive consumer awareness and uptake. Sony is delivering its proprietary service ‘Sony 360 Reality Audio’, whereas Microsoft offers a choice of Dolby Atmos, DTS:X and Windows Sonic on the Xbox Series X and S.”
Looking at brands, the top four gaming headset players, Turtle Beach, Logitech G, Hyper X and Razer, dominated in terms of worldwide volumes in H1 2020, capturing nearly two in every three dollars of overall consumer spend.
Gaming speakers remain a niche category. With high ASPs and a lack of communication functionality, Futuresource expects to see a decrease in consumer demand in 2020, as price sensitive consumers opt for more versatile headset options.
Keyboards Deliver the Edge
Futuresource expects the gaming keyboard market to grow by 17% in volume terms in 2020. Although working from home has bolstered the growth of gaming keyboard demand, many employees are typically using laptops, so the impact has been less drastic than that seen in the headsets vertical.
“An aftermarket gaming keyboard offers gamers a significant number of advantages when compared with a standard multipurpose PC keyboard,” says Garrard. “The major benefit is reduced input latency, giving the gamer crucial extra milliseconds in-game, which provides a discernible competitive advantage. In addition, a high proportion of gaming keyboards feature mechanical switches rather than membrane connections, which are more common in non-gaming keyboards. These switches offer greater customizability in terms of optimizing input response times and minimizing finger fatigue. Gaming keyboards typically also feature customizable RGB lighting, which can aid in game immersion through synchronizing lighting effects with game audio.”
Feature-Rich Mice Commanding High ASPs
Feature-rich mice are also driving uptake in the gaming market, with gaming mice achieving double-digit volume growth for the third year in a row. Futuresource expects the market to grow by 20% in volumes this year, achieving over 36 million shipments worldwide.
Features such as heightened responsiveness, programmable buttons and RGB light syncing offer PC gamers greater in-game functionality and a competitive edge when compared with a non-gaming mouse. In line with demand for feature-rich peripherals, vendors are able to command higher ASPs, with leading brands Logitech, Corsair and Razer generally opting to compete on features and functionality, rather than price.
A Market in Ascendance
“The gaming accessories market holds substantial potential for further growth,” says Garrard, “with our forecasts showing that shipments will progress at a 9% CAGR between 2020 and 2024 across the four major product categories covered within this report. Alongside this, retail value will increase at double digit CAGR between 2020 and 2024, to generate over $6 billion in 2024.”
For more information on the gaming headsets and accessories global market outlook report from Futuresource Consulting, contact Jack Tammaro via [email protected]
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