06 July 2011

Indian youngsters at home with Chinese video games

Gone are the days when youngsters would make a beeline for video parlours. Play stations and home video games are the new rage, with cheaper Chinese varieties vying for the lion's share of the lucrative gaming pie in India.

Industry stakeholders say Chinese video games are giving branded play stations a run for their money due to their easy availability and low cost.

"The gaming market is swiftly experiencing changes in terms of availability. Now, even we personally prefer software games instead of video game cassettes that used to sell six to seven years back," said Honey Singh, owner of an electronic shop selling game software in south Delhi's Nehru Place.

"We manage to sell only four to six branded play station games in a month due to their high price. But Chinese games get sold every day in large quantities," Singh added.

"Chinese games range from 500-1,000, while the branded ones cost a minimum of 5,000," Aman Dua, who sells such games at Lajpat Rai Market in old Delhi's Chandni Chowk, told IANS.

Ranjan Jha, a salesman at a store selling TV games in Nehru Place, said: "Gaming is not restricted to any age these days. We have customers of all age, from 8 to 35 years."

The growing competition in the market is also leading to technological advancements.

"New players are entering into the software game market. There is a constant process of advancement happening as new technologies are being introduced every day," Jha added.

Online games that allow people to play games through internet are also grabbing attention as enthusiasts need not get into the hassle of buying CDs.

"I prefer online games as they can be downloaded easily and are time-saving as well. I don't have to go to the market to purchase video or software games," said Rubain Samuel, a third year student of the Indian Institute of Technology.

Palika Bazar in Connaught Place and Lajpat Rai Market, once considered to be the hotspots of games software, are now losing popularity due to online gaming.

"The wholesale markets sell it at cheap prices. But piracy is one factor because of which I don't visit them any more," said Tarun Sharma, a Delhi University student.

"Even the latest games are available on the internet," added Sharma.