Dixons ready to embrace virtual reality, more PC gaming systems

Dixons Carphone has revealed its PC gaming plans to PCR.

The Currys/PC World and Carphone Warehouse owner hasn’t traditionally placed a big focus on this sector, but with gaming on the up, it confirmed it will be stocking more ‘sophisticated’ PC gaming systems in a number of its stores going forwards – as well as virtual reality devices.

The company opened its ‘Gaming Bunker’ in London two years ago, a specialist Currys/PC World store that lets customers play games and try out the latest accessories.

When asked how that has gone and what the future holds for Dixons Carphone in this space, chief executive Sebastian James told PCR: "The bunker is surprisingly good fun. It smells quite strongly of boys but it’s been quite good. We’re not going to roll that out anywhere, it needs to be very high footfall, it needs to be really central urban districts. But it’s been quite good for us.

"We’ve sold a lot of PC gaming accessories which are quite expensive and offer quite good margin for us, but they’re highly specialized.

"We will have some stores in which we will go for some of these more sophisticated gaming machines, but it is quite specialist and they are very expensive."

While Dixons Carphone said at the moment it won’t be stocking any Steam Machines, which launch this November, it did identify virtual reality as a key emerging sector that it’s working hard on.

Andrew Harrison, deputy group CEO at Dixons Carphone, added: "I think the interesting direction and the thing we’re quite excited about in the long term is virtual reality/augmented reality.

"From the things we’ve seen at the events we’ve got to go on, and some of the products available, you need very high-powered computers in order to do that. You need setup capabilities and a room to be able to do it in, and you need peripherals. People are going to need to come to physical retail places and explore what’s on offer.

"I think it’s quite exciting. I think it’s going to be one of the bigger trends over the coming years and we’re working quite hard on that in terms of how we bring that to consumers."

The execs were talking to the press following Dixons Carphone’s first full-year trading results which were announced late last week.

Dixons also said it is more competitive than ever, with prices more in line with its rivals.

Image source: Shutterstock

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