Microsoft to exit PC gaming peripherals

While no official announcement has been made, Microsoft appears poised to exit the gaming peripherals market for all gaming products outside of its X-Box games system.

Resellers have told ARN that gaming peripherals bearing the Sidewinder brand such as joysticks, gamepads and racing wheels have been pulled from Microsoft’s catalogues.

Several resellers have also phoned Microsoft’s competitors asking for alternative products.

General manager for Logitech Australia, Marco Manera, said several resellers had contacted his office over the matter in recent weeks.

“I have certainly heard the rumours,” he said. “Resellers don’t want to lose the PC gaming category – while there is not a great margin on a PC or games console, they are always certain of high margins on the peripherals.”

Manera said that Logitech was the largest provider of PC gaming products such as joysticks and gamepads, Microsoft came a close second.

After that, he suggested, it was daylight. Any exit from Microsoft would see Logitech take a massive market share.

“We’d be more than happy to pick up the market share,” Manera said. “Logitech is very committed to the gaming category, and we can provide peripherals not just for one platform but for all of them – PC, X-Box or Playstation.”

Microsoft was unable to comment at the time of going to press.

The vendor is still advertising its joysticks, gamepads and racing wheels on its American and Australian websites. It has also recently embarked on an advertising campaign to remind resellers of its hardware innovations – specifically pointing to its expertise in the area of mouse and keyboard designs. There is no mention of gaming peripherals.

Such a strategy suggests that Microsoft will continue to market its keyboards and mice as well as its Xbox peripherals, regardless of what it does with its PC gaming peripherals.

Resellers said they had been given no details on what discount schemes would be available to clear remaining stock.

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