Special Report: PC gaming

Acer’s robust portfolio for gamers parallels the strong growth of the PC gaming industry in the Middle East and Africa region

Acer, PC Gaming, Esports, Gaming, Planet9, Middle East, Predator

The Middle East and Africa market for gaming desktops and notebooks has seen an increase in demand as consumers under lockdown sought alternate means of entertainment. What remains to be seen is whether this growth can be sustained in the long term.

The MEA gaming PC market saw a robust growth of 23.2 per cent YoY in the first quarter of this year, according to analyst firm IDC. This spike in the gaming market is in large part due to the increase in notebook PC sales, which is estimated at 35 per cent by industry analysts.

Acer’s general manager for MEA, Paul Collins highlighted an interesting deviation when estimating the PC gaming market demand. He says that while an approximation of the Middle East market is 150,000 units per annum, this number could be understated by as much as 20 per cent.”

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The reason for this discrepancy stems from the fact that many gamers buy online from international sites and there are some retailers that do not report numbers.

Demand has increased for new gamers who are looking at gaming laptops for entertainment, whilst staying home and experienced gamers who want to upgrade their systems. This has been slightly affected by the disrupted supply chain, meaning reduced access to units and prices rising to a small degree.

While hardware sales have been declining over the past few years, Acer has reported strong growth in sales in the region. Collins added that depending on the country in the Middle East, Acer enjoys market shares between 15 and 21% for the Acer and Predator brands. “We see Saudi Arabia and the UAE as our biggest markets in terms of sales, however markets like Egypt and Kuwait are still strong contributors.”

Acer’s gaming range

Acer considers itself a major driver in the gaming market and as such, provides a wide range of products for every level of gamer. “In the casual segment, the best seller is the Acer Nitro range. Our Predator range caters to the serious or hardcore gamer and for this customer - the Triton 500 and Helios 300 are very popular choices,” Collins explained.

The company has recently refreshed its PC gaming lineup with new gaming laptops, desktops and monitors. Its Predator Helios and Triton gaming laptops come with support for 10th Gen Intel Core processors and Nvidia’s RTX 2070 and 2080 Super Max-Q graphics chips.

Acer’s portfolio for the PC gaming community is not just limited to PCs. The vendor also offers a large portfolio of gaming monitors that are well-suited for gaming enthusiasts around the world.

In addition to the recently announced updates to Acer’s Predator Helios, Predator Triton and Nitro gaming notebooks, the vendor has also expanded Predator gaming portfolio with desktops, monitors and accessories. The Predator X25 gaming monitor boasts an incredibly fast 360 Hz refresh rate, supporting the smoothest possible animation and gameplay. Also, Predator XB3 gaming monitors deliver lifelike visuals for smooth gaming with a speedy 0.5 ms (G to G) response time, NVIDIA G-SYNC compatibility and DisplayHDR 400.

“Acer has continually driven the market in the past with unique products such as the Thronos gaming pod and the Predator 21X curved 21” laptop. We will continue to lead with our visionary products, and also look at ways in investing in the local community,” said Collins.

Commenting on the reasons for Acer’s success with its gaming portfolio in the Middle East, Collins added: “Gaming has become more mainstream as economies of scale have made the products more affordable. Other factors include casual gamers who use one machine to work by day and game at night, and even some users who will buy gaming units and never register a game. This is generally people looking for a workstation replacement. As for pure gaming, we see an ever-growing demand for faster throughput meaning, latest chipsets, SSD and of course improved graphics and refresh rates for better viewing.”

Business focus

Acer remains focused on bringing the latest technologies to the market. In line with this vision, the vendor is driving a larger ecosystem with initiatives such as Planet9, and partnerships with gaming titles such as Rainbow Six Seige. There are discussions around a potential e-sports gaming event as well.

Collins explained that Acer’s eSports Planet9 is an open community platform that allows gamers to build their team, train for excellence and battle for victory. “Planet9 will allow gamers to find teammates with similar skill levels and goals and in turn, improve their game by offering performance feedback. The platform is designed to allow all players to make data-backed decisions about how they can improve, what weak areas they should try to cover and what strengths they should capitalise upon."

“We remain committed to our retail partners as a great way to experience our products before purchasing. However, we are seeing stong demand from online sales and have responded to that. We will continue to work with key influencers and gamers to allow maximum exposure and educate on product differentiation, to our users,” concluded Collins.

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