In this dynamic and ever-changing landscape, gaming controllers play a crucial role in improving the gaming experience. Not only do game controllers bridge the gap between the player and the virtual world, making them an indispensable accessory, they’re the gateway to an entertainment medium that now captivates millions worldwide.
The gaming industry is flourishing and continues to expand year after year. According to Research and Markets, the game controller global market was worth US $1.8 billion in 2021 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 7.9% to hit US $2.97 billion by 2027.
It can therefore be worthwhile for small businesses and retailers involved in the industry to stock up and wide range of controllers to suit their customers’ needs.
Evolution of gaming controllers
Like most other forms of entertainment and technology, video games have greatly improved throughout the years. The controller plays a crucial role in this dynamic, acting as the main interface between the player and the virtual world.
Gaming controllers have evolved significantly over the years, with manufacturers often using past successes to design their latest products. The gaming landscape continues to be mostly dominated by three companies: Microsoft, the creator of Xbox, Nintendo, the creator of Wii and Switch, and Sony, the creator of PlayStation.
As a small business or retailer, it pays to understand the latest gaming controller designs and trends to tap into this thriving market. Here, we’ll explore the key trends influencing the gaming controller market today.
Trends in gaming controller designs
Gaming controller market has grown and evolved rapidly. Currently, we are in the eighth generation of controllers, moving from the the joysticks of the 1960s to the voice-activated, vibrating controllers we know today.
In addition, the gaming controller marketing is expanding and now boasts a design suitable for nearly every type of gaming style. According to Google Ads, the keyword “gaming controller” has 110,000 monthly searches while “gamepad” has 246,000 searches.
Some controller trends that you should be aware of as a small business include:
Wireless and Bluetooth connectivity
The days of being tethered to a gaming console with wired controllers or a PC by a cord are rapidly fading. Wireless and Bluetooth connectivity have become standard features in modern gaming controllers. Most popular PC controllers, Xbox wireless controllers, Scuf controllers, and PS4 and PS5 controllers are now wireless or Bluetooth compatible.
These technologies offer consumers improved freedom of movement and help to reduce clutter. In addition, many gaming phones in the market also offer wireless and Bluetooth connectivity.
According to Google Ads, the keyword “wireless game controller” had an average of 4,400 monthly searches, and “Xbox elite controllers” had 135,000 searches.
According to market research, wireless controllers are expected to account for over 60% of the gaming controller market share by the end of 2023.
Gamers are growing increasingly diverse in terms of which consoles they choose to play, with options ranging from PlayStation and Xbox to gaming PCs and mobile devices.
As these platforms multiply, gaming controller manufacturers strive to create versatile controllers that can seamlessly connect and operate across them, including for iPhones, Android phones, PS4, PS5, and PCs.
For instance, the Ajazz AG180 wireless game controller gamepad is compatible with various gaming platforms.
As a small business, it’s advisabel to stock gaming controllers that are compatible with multiple platforms to increase your consumer base and capture a larger market share.
Customizability and modularity
Personalization is the name of the game in the gaming world. Gamers want controllers that reflect their unique preferences and playstyles.
For instance, most professional gamers prefer customizable gamepads. According to Google Ads, “custom controller PS5” and “customize Xbox Series X controllers” have 2,900 monthly searches.
With more people taking up gaming either professionally or as a hobby, gaming controllers with customizable features, like the PDP Victrix Pro BFG Wireless Controller for PS5, are becoming more popular for their in-depth customization options.
Customization can include everything from swappable modules to adjustable buttons, analog sticks, D-pads, and interchangeable grips.
Voice and motion control integration
With the advent of voice recognition and motion-sensor technologies, gaming controllers are evolving to be smarter and more technologically advanced than ever.
Nintendo Wii was the first to introduce the first motion control game controllers, and other companies followed suit.
Voice commands and gestures provide new ways for players to interact with their games, adding an immersive layer to the gaming experience. According to Google Ads, “Wii Motion Plus” had a monthly average search of 33,100, showing how popular the technology has become.
Moreover, some gaming controllers, like the Sony DualSense for PS5, feature player haptic feedback, designed to stimulate the gamer’s sense of touch through vibrations.
Voice-controlled and motion-sensitive gaming controllers are also becoming more popular, only expanding the types of game pads and PC controllers that you might want to stock to increase your customer base.
Sustainability and eco-friendly initiatives
Leaders in the gaming industry is becoming increasingly conscious of its environmental impact. As a result, there is a growing emphasis on sustainability in gaming controller design, with game controller manufacturers increasingly using eco-friendly materials and implementing energy-efficient technologies. For instance, the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 has a rechargeable battery with a 40-hour battery life, instead of AA batteries, thus conserving energy and minimizing environmental damage.
With sustainability-focused controllers slowly taking over the game controller market ,small businesses may want to stock sustainable and eco-friendly game controllers so as to corner the eco-sensitive gamer market.
The gaming controller market is thriving, and small businesses and retailers have a golden opportunity to tap into this flourishing industry.
By staying attuned to the latest trends, including wireless and Bluetooth connectivity, multi-platform compatibility, customizability, voice and motion controls, and sustainability initiatives, you can position your business to cater to the evolving needs of gamers.
As we enter the last quarter of 2023, these trends will continue to shape the gaming controller market. Small businesses and retailers should continue to monitor market share statistics and consumer preferences to make more informed decisions and provide gamers with the controllers they need.
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