ZEPCE, Croatia (Reuters) – Digital gaming console makers are boosting their sales to Europe, but analysts worry that the growing popularity of their products is only making matters worse for retailers and consumers.
Zepce Electronics Co, which makes the Zepce Micro, Zepces T-series and Zepes Classic gaming consoles, said on Tuesday it had seen a 50 percent jump in its sales during the first half of 2017, compared with the same period last year.
That jump has come despite a fall in shipments from other European countries, such as France, Germany and Italy, analysts said.
The growth of gaming consoles is not confined to Europe and they are becoming increasingly popular in Asian markets.
Chinese-owned Tencent Holdings Ltd, which launched the popular gaming platform in China, has also started selling its Zepco series, a console line that also includes a gaming mouse and keyboard.ZEPCE is the latest electronics manufacturer to step into the fray, after other gaming hardware makers have been slow to embrace digital technology.
For instance, Sony Corp, which also manufactures gaming consoles in Japan, has been slow in adopting digital technology, preferring to use old technology to keep prices high.
Some retailers are also struggling to get their hands on the growing number of consoles, particularly those that cost more than $100.
In some cases, they are missing out on big profits.
In addition, retailers are losing sales on games sold through online sales platforms such as Amazon.com Inc and other retailers that have adopted online payment services like PayPal.
Last month, the European Union (EU) launched a sweeping antitrust probe into Amazon.
It has asked the European Commission to examine whether Amazon is using its dominant position to stifle competition in the online gaming market.
Zephox’s CEO, Jan Kucher, said the company was not worried about the EU probe.
“We don’t believe the antitrust probe will impact our business model, our strategy, our business,” he said.
Zebralic Group, a Croatian hardware maker that sells digital games consoles, also saw a surge in sales in the first quarter.
The company said it sold 4 million units of its Zebralics Micro gaming console in the quarter ending March 31, compared to 4.6 million in the same quarter last year, and 6.5 million units in the previous year.
Zefor, a Serbian gaming hardware maker, reported sales of 4.4 million units during the quarter.
Zembe, a gaming controller maker, saw sales of 7.6 percent, its highest since the second quarter of 2017.
Zetec, another Serbian gaming controller company, said its sales rose 8 percent during the second half of the year, compared, to a year earlier, to 5.3 million units.
The EU probe is also expected to force European retailers to adopt electronic payment services such as PayPal.
In the United States, retailers have been buying digital games at discount prices on sites such as eBay Inc’s website and Amazon.
Com Inc’s site.
Some retailers have even taken steps to keep the prices low to attract customers to their websites.