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Popularity of gaming consoles and graphics cards soar, despite global shortage - PriceSpy

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

First it was bread makers, then it was sewing machines. Now, insights from the fully impartial price and product comparison site, PriceSpy, indicate the latest buying trend to hit New Zealand is that of gaming consoles and graphics cards. An interesting trend considering the global shortage of both items.

Liisa Matinvesi-Bassett, New Zealand country manager for PriceSpy, says: "Our data shows Kiwis have never been more into gaming goods than now, with the PS5 a clear winner that many want in their homes. In fact, the console is currently the most-popular product on our website, above some 139,337 other indexed items.

"And, since the start of this year, we’ve seen significant growth across the shopping category of graphics cards, both in New Zealand and globally.

In New Zealand, popularity for graphics cards doubled on PriceSpy, compared to the same time in 2020 (up 111 per cent)-

PriceSpy global data also found popularity for graphics cards increased 276 per cent, compared to the same time in 2020----."

Despite buyer interest for gaming goods being on the up, Kiwis looking for ways to keep busy and entertained across the latest change in Alert Levels, may be disappointed.

As a result of Covid-19 impacting manufacturing processes, supply chains, distribution channels and consumer buying interest rising, PriceSpy warns, many shoppers may struggle to physically get hold of these in-demand items from retailers due to global supply shortages.

Liisa continues: "Since the PS5 first launched, consumer buying interest for Sony’s latest flagship console quickly skyrocketed. In fact, before it was even released in November 2020 last year, it was already the most-clicked on product on PriceSpy, above thousands of other items.

PriceSpy’s popularity insights: PS5

Source: PriceSpy

"But, with global supply chains affected by Covid-19, stock soon ran out - and popularity quickly dropped off. However, since the start of February, even though stock levels have not yet returned, consumer buying interest has once again peaked - with the PS5 ranking again as most-clicked on product on PriceSpy."

The lack of product availability also appears to be driving up the price of the PS5 on the second-hand market, with prices on Trade Me reaching as much as $1650, $831 over its RRP--.

And it’s not just the PS5 that’s increasing in popularity and price...

"Graphics cards may not be an item that appeals to everyone, but our data shows popularity has peaked, increasing 111 per cent year on year-, which is extremely high. We believe this additional demand is driven by a number of reasons," says Liisa.

There are several reasons why graphics cards are sold out:

Supply issues

Firstly, there’s the production aspect. Many Chinese factories stopped manufacturing graphics cards during the onset of the Covid-19 outbreak. The graphics card manufacturer, AMD, has probably also needed to use a significant part of its production capacity to provide the new gaming consoles with graphics cards. All this means that manufacturers have not been able to produce as many cards as required.

More time at home Covid-19 has seen us all spend more time at home, which has resulted in an increase in popularity of all types of entertainment, including gaming consoles - up by almost a third year-on-year---. Similarly, more may be looking to upgrade their gaming equipment, as consumer buying interest on PriceSpy for CPUs grew 58 per cent- and graphics cards up 111 per cent-.

The rise in price of Bitcoin

The price of Bitcoin has risen exponentially over the last three months, further increasing consumer buying interest for graphics cards which are used for mining.

Supply levels demand - driving up the price of goods

For the PS5, it is only available ‘second-hand’ via Trade Me and is being sold at a much higher price than its RRP.

With availability of graphics cards now scarce, the indexed price point for these items on PriceSpy has risen almost nine per cent since the start of this year.

PriceSpy’s Price Index for Graphics Cards

Source: PriceSpy

Liisa concludes: "Without a doubt, Covid-19 continues to affect the retail sector. From manufacturing, supply chains, distribution, consumer buying interest and price.

"It’s therefore more important than ever that consumers carry out important price research before they buy, to make sure the price they are purchasing at is fair and reasonable and not over the odds.

"Shoppers can carry out price research quickly and easily using a free price comparison site, like PriceSpy. What’s more, they can also set up stock alert updates for items such as the PS5 and graphics cards, so that they are automatically notified once products are available again.

"To find out more information and to start comparing prices, head to our website, or download the PriceSpy app."

Download the PriceSpy app here.

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