Industry Analysis | Sales skyrocket by 280%! Game consoles are selling like crazy in Russia

Sales of game consoles in Russia have increased by 280%

Shoptop has learned that recently, electronic product stores and sellers in the Russian market have noticed an increase in demand for game consoles from consumers in the country.

What is the Russian gaming market like? How can Chinese sellers get a share of it?

Today, let’s explore the potential business opportunities hidden in the Russian gaming market together.


Game consoles are selling well in Russia

According to Russia Posts English, in the first quarter of 2023, sales of set-top boxes (game consoles connected to TVs or displays) on Ozon increased by 2.8 times. Compared to 2022, the average spending on set-top boxes increased by 24%. The number of sellers of these game devices has increased by 77%.

Source: Google

At the same time, Russia’s top consumer electronics retailer M.Video-Eldorado also pointed out that its game console sales in the first four months of 2023 have “shown a double-digit growth” .

In addition, the sales of game consoles on the classified ad website Avito in Russia have also increased. In the first quarter of 2023, the demand for Japanese Nintendo electronic products increased by 27% year-on-year, while the demand for PlayStation and Xbox game consoles increased by 22% and 15% respectively.

In 2022, due to geopolitical factors, many game companies suspended providing products and services to the Russian market, and the demand for rental game consoles increased.

In December of last year, after the adjustment of the parallel import mechanism in Russia (allowing retailers to import products from abroad without the permission of the trademark owner, which can be simply understood as “grey market” products), the market began to recover.

The market and retailers point out that disc-based game consoles are the most popular and it is expected that the demand for game consoles and physical games will increase by 2023.

Image source: Google

In October 2022, a survey conducted by the Russian internet giant VK showed that 55% of Russian respondents would choose to relieve stress through gaming, while 37% of respondents believed that gaming provided them with an opportunity to experience another reality and temporarily divert their attention from other problems.

From the perspective of game product development, China’s game industry had a long-standing gap, making it difficult to compete with foreign giants in terms of game content. However, Chinese manufacturers have a unique advantage in game hardware.

According to Russian media, almost all participants in the global game console market have their production capacity located in China, and most of the game consoles imported by Russia also come from China.

Data from 2019 showed that “Made in China” game consoles accounted for more than 96% of the sales of game consoles in the United States. Previously, Nintendo outsourced almost all of its Switch game console production to contract manufacturers in China.

Image source: Google

Data from the General Administration of Customs showed that the export volume of Chinese game consoles and their accessories from January to March 2022 was 44,490 tons.

Nowadays, the Russian game market is revitalized. What opportunities can small and medium-sized enterprises grasp?


Opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises to go overseas

For small and medium-sized enterprises, grasping the opportunity of the game market to go overseas can mainly start from the hardware aspect.

1. Retro game consoles

Reportedly, due to geopolitical factors leading to a shortage of new-generation game consoles, Russians’ interest in retro game consoles is increasing.

According to Russian AliExpress data, from February to October 2021, Russian demand for retro game consoles increased by 250%, and sales of retro models accounted for 65% of the total sales of game consoles. Russians’ per capita spending on retro game consoles was between 1500 and 2300 rubles.

Source: Google

Among them, Sega and Dendy were the two best-selling brands in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Data from June 2022 shows that demand for Dendy, Sega, and other game consoles in Russia has increased by 58% compared to the same period last year.

In fact, not only in Russia, but also in many other regions such as the United States and Europe, retro game consoles with controllers and portable designs are selling well due to the influence of the TikTok nostalgia trend.

Retro game consoles are small game entertainment devices and are also considered electronic products. Overseas consumers also attach great importance to the quality of the products. Therefore, when choosing retro game consoles, sellers should cooperate with manufacturers or brands with higher quality.

In addition, from the perspective of consumers, they hope that retro game consoles can be equipped with high-definition screens, long battery life, and large memory space.

2. Game console peripheral products

In addition to game consoles, small and medium-sized sellers can also pay attention to some game console peripheral products. For example, game console protective cases, tempered glass screen protectors and other peripheral products are also selling well.

Source: Amazon

Through searching on the Amazon US site, it can be found that game console protective cases are divided into full-coverage travel protective cases, semi-covered protective cases similar to phone cases, and personalized sticker protective cases, with a value ranging from less than 10 US dollars to nearly 100 US dollars.

3. Other game hardware

Whether it is for console gaming, PC gaming, or mobile gaming, spending on gaming hardware is increasing rapidly. These hardware include consoles, PC gaming hardware, controllers, headphones, keyboards and mice, etc.

Manufacturers of game controllers such as Beboncool, GameSir, and Thunderobot in China have entered a period of rapid development. With the advantage of high cost performance of domestically produced products, some products are even better than hardware devices such as Nintendo Switch and Microsoft Xbox.

Image source: Google

In addition, according to Technavio’s report, driven by the growth of the global esports market, the gaming headset market is expected to grow by $788.08 million between 2020 and 2024.

Among these types of gaming hardware products, sellers should also pay attention to a trend, which is customization.

For example, “Custom gaming keyboard” is on the 2022 Google Hot Search Top 100 list.

DIY customized keyboards can customize the color and texture of each key cap as desired. Ceramic keycaps are the most popular and breakthrough search for keycaps in 2022.

4. Esports chairs

Esports chairs have become a must-have for many professional and hardcore gamers. Unlike ordinary chairs, esports chairs are equipped with lumbar support and headrests, which can bring comfortable gaming experience to players.

In 2022, the search volume for professional esports chairs on Google increased by 900%.

Image source: Google

It is worth mentioning that there are also many companies that make esports chairs among Shoptop’s customers, such as Shenzhen Chuangzhuo BASETBL. The company sells large furniture products such as office chairs, esports chairs, and lifting desks to European sites through Amazon, and has achieved impressive sales performance. After cooperating with Shoptop to build an independent website and overseas marketing, its conversion rate and brand awareness have greatly increased.

A report released by Absolute Reports shows that the global gaming chair market is expected to reach approximately $1 billion in 2022, with a compound annual growth rate of 10.96% during the forecast period, reaching $1.87 billion by 2028.

5. AR/VR Gaming Devices

With the continuous development of technology, AR/VR games have gradually entered people’s lives, and the graphics and sound effects of AR/VR games have reached a very realistic level, making players feel like they are in another world. At the same time, there has been an increase in demand for VR/AR gaming devices.

Image source: Google

In addition to traditional VR glasses products, the new generation of VR/AR gaming devices also include tactile gloves, motion sensing clothing, chairs and other devices, allowing users to feel that their entire body has entered the 3D digital world, and the distance from the metaverse is further shortened.

In the future, with the continuous introduction of new software applications on gaming platforms and the increasing number of global users, the VR/AR gaming device industry still has great development potential worldwide.

Final Thoughts

In addition to game hardware and peripherals going global, we also hope that Chinese games can achieve better results in content going global, and more high-quality game works that are loved by domestic and foreign game enthusiasts can emerge, allowing more Chinese participants to appear in the huge global gaming market.

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