Futuresource is excited about developments revealed at CES this year within the gaming accessories market, particularly within the gaming true wireless (GTWS) and speakers’ segments. In light of our recent report on gaming accessories, we projected growth for the GTWS. While the market only has a handful of players with dedicated GTWS and low volumes, we highlighted the future opportunity within the mobile gaming space - which makes up the majority market share in gaming. This trend is bolstered by new entry-level gaming earbuds released from Tozo, gaming mode feature releases on TWS Lifestyle, as well as JBL entering the space with its own dedicated JBL Quantum TWS, made specifically for low latency gaming. Such announcements at CES means that brands are continuing to see the potential for lightweight, ‘on the go’ headphone options for the use of mobile gaming.
The speaker market had reached a stagnation point, so it’s good to see a breath of life into the market with some dedicated gaming soundbars underway, as revealed at CES. The technology is known to be great for surround sound in lifestyle applications, which Futuresource identified in our latest report as a good feature to translate into gaming. LG S95QR offers a low latency mode, which is a perfect blend for gamers in small rooms and an alternative to headphones, without sacrificing immersion. The VIZIO M-Series Elevate 5.1.2 Soundbar is also equipped with a gaming mode to provide 360 surround sound, in low latency mode and 4K Dolby Vision pass-through.
Gaming headsets make up the bulk of gaming accessories, as showcased in Futuresource’s latest research. Often the purchase decision for such headsets comes down to a mix of price, battery life (at the moment, industry average is 30-40 hours on a single charge), and latency. Recent HyperX announcements, bringing a wireless version of their much-adored Cloud Alpha model, promises an unheard of 300hr on a single charge. This is ten times what the best headsets on the market are offering now and will prove significant in swaying purchase decisions towards HyperX and accelerating the growth of the wireless headsets overall.
At CES, Futuresource noticed a push for mobile (laptop gaming) technology from major CPU/GPU manufacturers (Intel, Nvidia, AMD), releasing up to eight different gaming laptop chipsets vs 2/3 for desktop PC. This alone emphasises the importance and focus on portability, gambling on the fact that at least in the short-term, gamers will still prefer portable hardware options over cloud services for gaming. These manufacturers are bringing processing speed improvements of up to 5.0Ghz, Intel with up to 5.5Ghz on PC desktops - which is an upgrade from the previous year’s highest 4.3Ghz. It’s going to be a big year for laptop gaming, emphasised further by the debut of sleek new gaming laptops from Acer, Asus, Alienware, Razer, LG, Lenovo and MSI.
Aside from laptop gaming, curved screens for gaming from Samsung (Odyssey Ark) and Alienware 34 QD OLED are finally bringing proper HDR performance to gaming, while TV manufacturers are embracing cloud subscription gaming services (in their multimedia hubs included) and future-proofing 2022 TV line-ups for gaming by upscaling refresh rates. This is a major move as in the past, TVs were not able to get a firm foothold in the gaming space of their own accord. Whilst cloud gaming still faces latency issues, support from TV brands gives gaming a wider reach. In a previous H2 Gaming Insights report, Futuresource predicted a steady growth for cloud gaming services. With the advent of smart TVs incorporating cloud gaming services into their media hubs, it’s likely to give a healthy boost to the total addressable market as well as shorten the consumer path to discovery of these services.
TV brands’ move into gaming is highlighted by several releases boasting VRR and 4k at over 120Hz. Hisense reveals their U7G ULED gaming TV, 4K at 120Hz. TCL to debut 4K at 144Hz Mini LED gaming TV for a more fluid experience, incorporate a Gaming Centre providing a selection of TV games as well as Google Stadia and support for mobile phone to be used as a controller. Samsung announced an equivalent app called Gaming Hub which will support Stadia, GeForce Now and Utomik, and will be available on 2022 TV models onward.
Here at Futuresource, we are excited to closely monitor the performance of the gaming industry’s latest technology showcased at CES and how well end users adopt the new reveals into their daily lives. It appears to be a good year for gamers indeed.
To find out more about the latest CE tech trends to watch out for in 2022, including analyst insights on January's CES announcements, download our brand new Tech Perspectives here.
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