Sony moves in on the PC gaming space
The entertainment landscape continues to evolve at an ever-faster rate. So, according to a report released by management consultants Accenture, the global industry is today worth $300 billion.
Incredibly, this means it exceeds the movies and music industries combined – and it is set to grow even bigger.
There are a number of drivers behind this and one of the biggest of these in recent years has been the phenomenal growth of e-sports. From a virtual standing start, by 2021 this was worth $1.08 billion, and it’s set to more than double to $2.8 billion by 2028 growing at a rate of over 14% a year.
With such a lucrative sector, it is no big surprise that many companies are poised to exploit its potential more than ever before. These include not just the games developers themselves, but also providers of the hardware and ancillary equipment needed by players.
The biggest games
Naturally, everything is being primarily driven by the games themselves. With many being played predominantly online this has also served to hugely increase the numbers of players taking part.
The games cover a huge range of genres, as a look at some of the most popular ones only goes to show.
For example, the so-called sandbox games like Minecraft have literally millions of players all over the world. The attraction is easy to see. It’s a game virtually without end in which players can let their imaginations run free, but also one with various different modes to use, depending on how the player wants to interact with it.
Then there are the huge multiplayer games like Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds in which up to 99 people can participate in at any one time.
Arguably, PUBG wouldn’t be as successful as it is today without the previous popularity of Fortnite. This really introduced the world to the concept of the battle royale and has amassed an estimated 45 million players worldwide.
Incidentally, it also pulled off the remarkable trick of being a free game that has also generated huge profits for its originators in the process.
Then there are the big two in the world of e-sports. Both Call of Duty and League of Legends have even more followers who like to watch them being played at the highest level than players themselves.
It is also well worth mentioning a very popular off-shoot of the gaming industry – online casino games. While roulette and blackjack are popular it is online pokies that have really taken the world by storm. Most casino sites offer pokie games, with many offering different variations of these captivating games and they are by far the biggest money-spinner for them thanks to their near-universal appeal.
The market expands
In addition to new games, the vibrant sector is also attracting a great deal of other attention from businesses aiming to exploit its popularity.
This has taken various forms to date. For example, we have already mentioned Fortnite and just how profitable it is. A major contributor to this financial success has been the range of associated merchandise released to tie in with it. With everything from branded T-shirts and hoodies to game cards it has helped to further strengthen the global community of players.
Sony, on the other hand, has been very successful in carving out a space in the console gaming world and now has its sights set on PC gamers too.
Introducing Sony Inzone
No doubt partly inspired by the runaway popularity of e-sports, the Japanese electronics giant has launched a new range called Sony Inzone. Initially, this will consist of two product areas, monitors and headsets, but should be set to expand into other areas in the future.
It’s a logical move for the company. After all, long before the PlayStation was ever invented, Sony had a great reputation for its TV and audio products. It was also a leading innovator introducing the iPod of its time, the revolutionary Sony Walkman.
In launching the new products, Sony aims to appeal to the serious and not so serious gamers by offering products at different price points.
For their monitors, there will be two to choose from by the end of the year. Top of the range is the Inzone M9 which is expected to sell for around the $900 mark. This has a 27-inch display with pin-sharp 4K resolution and a refresh rate of 144Hz.
The Inzone M3, which is going to be launched in the run-up to the holidays in November/December time, is set to retail at $530. Its refresh rate is set to be higher but at a lower resolution.
Turning to the headsets, there’s no specified release date for these yet. But the company has revealed that the range will be three strong with the top-of-the-range H9 selling for $300, the mid-priced H7 for $230 and the budget H3 for $100.
The H9 is wireless and will include noise-cancelling and ambient sound technology. The H7 has fewer features but a longer battery life – up to 40 hours against the H9’s 32 – while the H3 is a wired headset.
In releasing the products Sony are going up against established names like Lenovo, Asus and Razer. But they also clearly see it as a way to take on their biggest rivals in the gaming space, Microsoft.
It remains to be seen how popular the range will be. But if it does take off no doubt we can expect see many more Sony Inzone products in the future.