MCV’s guide to the hottest accessories of summer

MCV’s guide to the hottest accessories of summer

Batman, The Witcher, Metal Gear Solid, Splatoon: the next four months are full of major-label titles set to bring consumers flooding into stores.

And that's even without the shock announcements made at events like E3 and Gamescom.

But it's not just about the games; this summer will see players equipping themselves with accessories and peripherals in anticipation of the year's big releases.

SEASONAL SUCCESS

Summer has never been a hotbed of activity for the games industry, with many games holding fire until the lucrative Christmas period.

But with the launch of smash hit titles such as The Last of Us and Watch Dogs during recent summers, the period still holds potential.

According to GfK Chart-Track, in terms of gaming accessory popularity, the Q3 quarter from July to September has traditionally competed with the ‘spring' Q2 (April through to June) as to which is the lowest-selling quarter of the year.

However, in recent years, summer has begun to prove itself as a key period for games retail.

During 2010, 2011 and 2012 Q2 out-performed Q3, but during 2013 and 2014 Q3 outsold Q2 in terms of both units and revenue.

It's hard to attribute one thing to Q3's improved share,” says Chris Poole, senior account manager at GfK Chart-Track.

The growing impact of toys-to-life, boosted by new waves of figures, could certainly have played a part.”

"The growing impact of toys-to-life could have played a part in Q3's improved market share."

Chris Poole, GfK Chart-Track

So what should retail be looking at as the biggest summer products of 2015?

Looking at 2015 so far, GfK says the biggest winners compared to the same period in 2014 are toys-to-life: Skylanders, up 44 per cent in terms of units and 25 per cent in terms of revenue, and Disney Infinity, up by 56 and 37 per cent in terms of units and revenue, respectively.

Skylanders and Infinity are up year-to-date because of the launch of Skylanders Trap Team and Disney Infinity 2.0, both of which increased demand beyond their Q4 2014 launches,” observes Poole.

Meanwhile, Sony console gaming accessories have shrunk by 16 per cent in terms of units and seven per cent in terms of revenue.

Comparatively, Microsoft has seen official accessory unit sales climb 23 per cent, with revenue rising 22 per cent.

Without a doubt, however, Nintendo has had the most successful 2015 so far, with unit sales rocketing 145 per cent and revenue leaping 121 per cent. Poole ascribes this growth to the sell-out success of Amiibo.

Over in the third-party accessories sector, PDP and A4T have defined themselves as the ones to beat. PDP has seen unit sales rise 34 per cent and revenue climb 49 per cent so far in 2015.

A4T, meanwhile, has achieved 54 per cent unit growth, supplemented by a 45 per cent revenue boost.

But who will be the king of the summmer?


PRO4-50 Premium Stereo Gaming Headset

This headset features 50mm speaker drivers, as well as an inline volume control for simultaneous chat and game audio adjustment. The padded ear cups can be tilted and twisted for comfort. A microphone is included, with mic muting available.

SRP: 39.99

Release Date: Late Summer

Manufacturer: 4Gamers/A4T

Distributor: CentreSoft

Contact: 0121 625 3399


The Recreated Sinclair ZX Spectrum

The UK's most popular computer of all time with 5m units sold, the Sinclair ZX Spectrum is reincarnated in 1:1 scale. It boasts authentic rubber keys, as well as a selection of recreated ZX apps and games.

SRP: 99.99

Release Date: July 31st

Manufacturer: Elite Systems

Distributor: Exertis

Contact: 01279 822 822


Batman Stereo Gaming Headset

Compatible with both PS4 and Xbox One, this peripheral is inspired by the Dark Knight himself. It boasts 40mm speaker drivers, inline volume controls and a flexible mic boom for chatting.

SRP: 24.99

Release Date: June 15th

Manufacturer: 4Gamers/A4T

Distributor: CentreSoft

Contact: 0121 625 3399


Rock Candy Xbox One Controllers

Dressed in coloured polycarbonate shells with white accents, these officially licensed controllers stand out. Features include Smart Track technology, a removable eight-foot cable and concave thumb sticks.

SRP: 29.99

Release Date: Out Now

Manufacturer: PDP

Distributor: Exertis

Contact: 01279 822 822


Sentry Eye Tracker

By tracking eye movement in real time and overlaying it onto gameplay, the Sentry Eye Tracker allows live streaming audiences to see exactly what a streamer is looking at. This is particularly interesting to those viewing eSports and other competitive gaming.

SRP: 159.99

Release Date: Out Now

Manufacturer: SteelSeries

Distributor: SteelSeries

Contact: nicholas.forder@steelseries.com


Wired Fight Pads for Wii U

Officially licensed by Nintendo, these pads are styled after the GameCube controller and feature a full size right stick, dual shoulder buttons, and a soft touch back plate. They are compatible with Wii U games that support the Classic Controller and Classic Controller Pr

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