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The Influences on Video Game Console Popularity in the UAE

12 September 2019

The gaming industry is a gigantic global industry and is now growing in nations outside of Japan, North America, and Europe, with the likes of the United Arab Emirates seeing a huge increase in players over the last few years. The global reach of video gaming continues to grow, with console unit sales set to continue to rise despite the next generation of Sony’s PlayStation and Microsoft’s Xbox being on the horizon, bolstered by the still fairly young Nintendo Switch, which has taken the gaming world by storm.

Before the year is up, major releases like Link's Awakening, Death Stranding, Pokémon Sword, Pokémon Shield, and Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games: Tokyo 2020 are coming to video game consoles. These five particular titles are console exclusives and show that those who want to play all of the biggest games of the year will need to own more than one console.

The growth in adoption in non-mainline video gaming markets and the emphatic line of triple-A game releases on the slate have led to many seeing it as a grand investment opportunity. Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo have all been on the ascendency since early Q2, with many traders activating a CFD account to allow them to make the most of the investment opportunity, trading from their desks and taking advantage of the expert assistance provided within these platforms. In the UAE, the industry has been fully embraced, which has undoubtedly led to a surge in the popularity of video game consoles.

video game console in uae

Gaming in the UAE

As found by the Northwestern University in Qatar, many surveyed nations of the Middle East have seen a sharp rise in the percentage of people who play video games. The UAE saw a stark increase from 56 per cent in 2014 to 62 per cent in 2018. But which of the three major gaming consoles of this generation are the most popular in the UAE?

Without exact unit sales figures to go off, it is still safe to declare the PlayStation 4 as the most popular mainline game console in the UAE. On the launch day of the PlayStation 4 in the UAE, many retailers faced stock issues and were unable to meet the demand, making sure they held onto the pre-ordered units for savvy gamers who ordered ahead. But it isn’t just the launch day figures that support Sony’s console, with sales numbers that cover the 'Rest of the World' - which excludes North America, Europe, and Japan - seeing the PS4 outselling Microsoft’s console by 17.59 million to 4.69 million. While brand recognition and the game line-up will have had a say, other major events may have swayed gamers in the UAE to favour the PS4.

UAE becoming a tech hub

The United Arab Emirates is making itself one of the world's tech hubs, particularly when it comes to adopting new technology and hosting major tech events and conventions. One of the biggest events in the world is the GITEX technology week, during which the biggest names and ideas from the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia will come together to showcase their wares. It’s at events like this that companies like Huawei will showcase their technology, trying to increase their market share of the UAE’s Oppo-dominated smartphone market.

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These conventions do a lot to persuade potential customers to buy products as they showcase the very best that the companies have to offer and, in the case of video gaming, often allow people to get a hands-on taster of the products. This year, the Insomnia Gaming Festival headlines the UAE’s prestigious line of gaming events, which also includes the Middle East Gaming Con and the Girl Gamer Esports Festival world finals. The Insomnia Gaming Festival will feature big-money eSports events across many different games as well as cosplay and an exclusive store to get more people immersed in the world of gaming.

As the UAE continues to stage major events and encourage the adoption of top tech and entertainment tech, more people will purchase video game consoles based on their experiences at these events, with the PS4 being the go-to console right now.

Davies Krish

With a background in journalism and news reporting, Davies enjoys finding surprises and unusual sights in some of Middle East's most well-traveled destinations.

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