2018's Q3/4 looks to be shaping up nicely for retailers, as a packed release schedule drives up sales.
But it's not just about software: accessories are also set for a great Q3/4 to remember.
What major trends have you seen affect the games accessories sector since the beginning of the PS4 and Xbox One generation?
Accessories don't seem to be so susceptible to the same uncertainty that is experienced with other products.
Generally, we have been seeing a high increase in sales as more and more of the market being involved with the esports scene.
Consumers are now much more likely to purchase a licensed accessory or peripheral to support gameplay on their new console.
We have also seen that, whilst the older-gen consoles have struggled in both hardware and software sales, accessory sales have remained buoyant.
What will the biggest challenges be for the accessories market over the next 12 to 18 months?
It's a highly competitive market with many players. Products designed and manufactured from the ground up provide a huge advantage over the competition. Manufacturers can tailor ranges based around market dynamics and by listening to what consumers want.
It doesn't take long for the accessory industry to realise what the winning products are in terms of sell-through and this is quickly followed by the market becoming flooded with products from these successful categories.
Innovation and point of difference is key to the direction of accessories. From a retail perspective, bundling accessories with hardware and key software releases is vital.
"Headsets will still be the key product sector in terms of third-party brand sell-through this Christmas."
How has the esports sector affected the accessories market?
Esports has motivated manufacturers to invest and develop much higher-grade products in order to satisfy the demands of the hardcore and pro gamer audiences.
Higher quality accessories have been around for some time for esports – mostly around the PC. You certainly see wired controllers and headsets at tournaments. Certain controllers for Xbox One, for example, feature customisable buttons which will give a competitive advantage, particularly in first-person shooters.
What accessories and categories do you expect to be the biggest sellers this Christmas?
Audio will again play a big part this Christmas. It is another saturated category for brands, with headsets and chat communicators. We will see more chat communicators for both Xbox One and PS4, as well as headsets at a sub-60 price point such as Astro Gaming A10.
There are some exciting Black Ops IIII and other licensed products coming out in Q3/4 which we are anticipating excellent sales for, as well as ongoing SKUs.
With the arrival of VR products and the realisation of these at retail over the next six months, we believe this segment will attract a lot of interest from consumers and retailers alike.
Astro A10 Call of Duty Edition
Approved by Halo developer 343 Industries, this handy stand for the Xbox One controller is designed to match the limited edition Master Chief pad.
Manufacturer: Astro Gaming
Distributor: Lime Distribution
Contact: 01622 845 161
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