MCV’s guide to the top peripherals firms and products

Marie Dealessandri
MCV’s guide to the top peripherals firms and products

As retailers are constantly on the hunt for new products to diversify their offering, we round up the top peripherals firms in the industry.


HORI

Location: London, UK

Key contact (pictured below): UK accounts manager Alex Sturgess, 020 3735 8125 or alex-s@hori.jp

Key products: Fighting sticks, game pads, racing wheels, controllers, mice, keyboards, skins, stands, for all platforms

Website: www.hori.co.uk

Hori has 34 years of experience in the peripherals and accessories sector, having worked in games since 1983.

“Hori is a Japanese video games accessory company steeped in history – we became Nintendo’s first third-party licensee over 30 years ago,” UK accounts manager Alex Sturgess tells MCV. “Nowadays we’re a global entity with offices in the UK, USA, Japan and China. Hori’s strength lies in its motto: ‘Quality and Innovation’. Our team creates cutting edge peripherals and accessories across all consoles, fully licensed by our partners SIEE, Nintendo, Microsoft, The Pokémon Company International, Level-5, Bandai Namco and more.”

Hori’s business doesn’t seem to be showing any sign of slowing down, either, he continues: “Sales have continued to increase in the UK and Europe with prime product placement in most major retailers in many regions across Europe. We continue to bring high quality and innovative products designed in Japan to expand our operations in Europe.”

Featured product: RWA: Racing Wheel Apex for PS4/PS3/PC

Officially licensed by Sony, this racing wheel offers advanced customisation options and features LED lighting, 270° turn rotation and advanced immersive vibration feedback.

Price: £89.99


Lime Distribution: the big peripherals player

 

Key contact (pictured below)Sales director Jonathan Rose, 0844 893 3933 or jonathan@limexb360.co.uk

Key brands: Astro Gaming, Minds, Quersus, KontrolFreek, Scuf Gaming, Collective Titan One, Skullcandy

Location: Kent

Headcount: 10

Website: www.limedistribution.co.uk

Lime Distribution has been in the peripherals business for over ten years. On top of being the distributor of over 25 peripherals and eSports brands, Lime also offers a merchandise range, partnering with companies like BioWorld Europe. Sales director Jonathan Rose has had a front row seat to the evolution of the sector over the past few years, so we sat down with him to get his view on today’s market: 

“We’ve seen a shift from Xbox One to PS4, a move to digital on software, but accessories for us are always consistent,” he tells MCV. “VR launched successfully on PS4 as we predicted and this, we feel, is mostly due to the price point and accessibility. You don’t need a £2,000 PC and £800 VR setup. We really need to see some more first party titles, though. The games Sony made have been really good, so it would be interesting to see what more they and other developers can achieve to keep that bubble from bursting.”

The risk of this bubble bursting is genuine, not only in VR, but in the peripherals market as a whole. After years of growth, the sector seems to be slowing down. Rose confirms “soft sales in Q1 and quite a competitive market.” However, business still seems to be going well for Lime. 

“On top of an excellent 2016 in regards to sales, we have established some relationships with some extremely exciting products soon to hit the market,” Rose continues. 

To boost sales, events are always a good aid when it comes to the peripherals sector, but you do need to choose your partners wisely, Rose reckons.

“We are extremely picky when it comes to events. As a distributor, retailer and brand representative, we always like to see good ROI. It’s good from a brand awareness perspective if a good strategy is there for consumers follow up.”

He concludes: “Generally we have always had good experiences from events and have key partnerships in place with Gfinity, ESL and EGX.”

Featured product: Strike Pack PS4

This adapter adds extra functions to any PS4 controller, including on-the-fly button mapping and the latest shooter mods, such as optimized rapid fire, fully adjustable rapid fire and many more.

Price: £44.99


LUCIDSOUND

Location: San Diego, USA

Headcount: 50

Key contact (pictured below): VP for EMEA Chris Spearing, chris.spearing@lucidsound.com

 

Key products: Gaming headsets, lifestyle design, high-end audio, for all platforms 

Website: www.lucidsound.com

Co-created by Tritton founder Chris von Huben, LucidSound debuted on the headset scene in March last year and quickly became a force to be reckoned with. “We want LucidSound to stand for premium, for high-quality, well thought out design and exemplary performance, yet at a price value that is in between,” Von Huben told MCV at the time. This had paid off for LucidSound, which now has a range of audio products for all platforms and all types of gamers, whether they are casual or hardcore.

 

Featured product: LS40 7.12 Surround Wireless Universal Gaming Headset

The LS40 is LucidSound’s flagship headset, announced at E3 2016 and launched in January this year. It has been designed to be “able to pinpoint every enemy footstep, approaching threat and track teammates in battle.”

Price: £179.99


ORB

Location: Ruislip, UK

Headcount: 50+

Key contact (pictured below): Head of sales Maud Jarry, maud@thumbsupuk.com

 

Key products: Accessories for all platforms, including PS VR and mobile VR

Website: www.orbaccessories.com 

Orb is not just investing in accessories for traditional gaming platforms, as the UK-based company also recently launched a range of retro gaming products and VR accessories. “The team is working hard to create some new products to help retailers maximise their margins from the category,” Orb’s MD Vinal Patel tells MCV. “New Sony VR accessories and Nintendo Switch products will also be available from July. Later this year, we will be launching a new range of products for Project Scorpio. So there are exciting times ahead,” he enthuses.

Featured product: Orb Retro Plug-in Controller with 200 Built Games

This product is part of Orb’s retro range. It’s both a mini-console and a controller and it features 200 games – you just need to plug it into the TV to enjoy some lovely 80s hits.

Price: £14.99


PDP

Location: Burbank, USA & Maidenhead, UK

Headcount: 250

Turnover: £350m

Key contact (pictured below): UK sales manager Dave Nelson, dave.nelson@pdp.com

Key products: Headsets, controllers, keyboards, mice, chargers, faceplates, collectibles, stands, protections, for all platforms

Website: www.pdp.com

Californian company PDP (Performance Designed Products) designs and manufactures peripherals and accessories for all consoles and handhelds.

“The PDP brand is synonymous with producing high quality licensed gaming accessories for Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo console formats and is one of the only third-party accessory companies that offer a licensed solution in controllers, audio and charging,” comments UK sales manager Dave Nelson. 

The Switch launch was also a good opportunity for PDP to launch a new collection: “We’re excited about our comprehensive range of officially licenced Nintendo Switch accessories and our 2017 roster is looking superb with a range of ‘must have’ items for peak,” Nelson continues. “We’ll be showcasing these at E3 along with our new controllers and new mid-tier priced headsets.“ 

Featured product: Pixel Pals

PDP has extended its expertise to collectibles with its Pixel Pals range - small lighting statues based on the industry’s most iconic characters, including Mario, Mega Man and Vault Boy. There are many more to come, including figures based on franchises such as Street Fighter and Halo.

Price: £14.99


PRIF

Location: Hertfordshire, UK

Key contact (pictured below): CEO Alan Jones, 0844 500 6475 or ajones@prif.co.uk

Key products: Headsets, controllers, charging solutions, cables, eSports, gaming chairs, for all platforms

Website: www.prifgear.com

Prif is relatively new to the peripherals and accessories market, having been founded in March 2015. But that doesn’t mean the company lacks experience, as it was created by industry veterans Alan Jones and Matthew Allen. Prif already has a wide choice of accessories and it will continue to increase in the coming months. “Prif is working on an exciting range of licensed accessories that will launch later this year,” Jones tells MCV. “The range will include headsets with mic filter technology, controllers, wireless charging plates and premium AV cables.”

Featured product: Streambox Kit

Prif’s Streambox Kit is a plug and play game capture card with HD mic and camera bundled in the same box. Available this summer, it will appeal to the growing audience of gamers who want to capture and create their own content.

Price: TBC


RAZER

Location: Hamburg, Germany

Key contact (pictured below): VIP Computers’ head of retail Elliott Hodgeon, 0192 528 6915 or elliott.hodgeon@vip-computers.co.uk

Key products: PC and console peripherals, gaming laptops and game-orientated software services

Website: www.razerzone.com

With over 35m users, Razer is one of the most popular gaming brands in the world. Its range covers everything from hardware to peripherals (mice, keyboards, audio), merchandise (apparel, bags) and even software. Created in 2005, Razer is not only providing accessories and peripherals for gamers, but also investing in the broader gaming community through eSports, streamers and developers thanks to its Indie Dev Program. 

Featured product: BlackWidow Chroma V2 Keyboard

The BlackWidow Chroma is one of Razer’s flagship products. The award-winning mechanical keyboard was designed for durability and has a life span of up to 80m key strokes.

Price: £164.99


SNAKEBYTE

Location: Dortmund (Germany), San Diego (US), and Hong Kong

Headcount: 50

Turnover: £25m

Key contact (pictured below): Managing director Danny Coe, danny.c@25-8.solutions

Key products: Gaming accessories for all platforms, flight simulation products, media streamers and consumer electronics, drones and RC products, gaming chairs 

Website: www.mysnakebyte.com

Founded in Germany in 1997, Snakebyte has become an essential player in the accessories market. It strengthened its position in the UK by partnering with UK sales and brand consultant Twenty5Eight Solutions last March. 

“2017 is expected to be a year of rapid growth and we have identified several areas where we believe we can capture market share,” Snakebyte’s director of sales and marketing Toni Hannott said.

Twenty5Eight’s MD Danny Coe added: “We’re uniquely positioned to offer our clients and retail partners the benefit of our channel management experience, and with an outstanding field marketing team, we’re able to support retail with sell out through training, merchandising support and brand ambassadors who can assist in communicating product virtues to end consumers.”

Featured product: Nintendo SwitchPower:Kit

This power kit is part of Snakebyte’s new Switch range, which also includes a starter kit, travel cases, headphones, earbuds, controller caps, screen protections and charging cables.

Price: £19.99


VENOM

Location: Hertfordshire

Headcount: 50

Turnover: £4.1m

Key contact (pictured below): Sales director Tom Hodge, tom.hodge@venomuk.com

Key products: Assorted gaming accessories, charging solutions, storage solutions, for all platforms

Website: www.venomuk.com

‘Quality at an affordable price.’ That’s Venom’s philosophy. The UK-based designer and manufacturer has been on the market since 1999 and offers a wide range of products: headsets, grips, charging stands, storage, as well as its PC Pro range for everything PC-related. Venom was an MCV Award finalist again this year in the peripherals and accessories category, and was also voted as one of the best quality peripherals brands in our annual retail survey at the end of last year.

 

Featured product: Nintendo Switch Racing Wheels

This racing wheel twin pack launched just in time for gamers to enjoy Mario Kart 8 Deluxe on the Switch. Venom’s Switch range also includes a starter kit and an in-ear stereo gaming headset. 

Price: £12.99

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