Electronics retail chain Harvey Norman is doubling down on gaming with a dedicated video gaming section at its Millenia Walk outlet.
Launched last week, the Harvey Norman Games Hub is the first such gaming-focused installation by the Australian retail chain, which has 13 stores in Singapore and is present in eight countries.
"Singaporeans are very sophisticated with their technology and this is a great test case to take it to the rest of the world," said Harvey Norman chief executive Katie Page.
She revealed that, since the December opening of the Millenia Walk store, internal figures showed that the gaming category was growing quickly.
"We found that consumers wanted their own area, but a contemporary games hub, not like the 90s, where it was all dark and for young men," she said.
Nestled within its flagship 100,000 sq ft outlet, the Harvey Norman Games Hub offers shoppers the opportunity to try out the latest gaming hardware, including computers, peripherals and video-game consoles.
The store is one of the few places in Singapore to offer a full-fledged virtual reality (VR) experience. Gamers can experience the HTC Vive VR headset in a glass-enclosed booth with plenty of room to move around. There is also a Samsung Gear VR demo station.
While the HTC Vive VR headset is not yet available for sale in Singapore, HTC vice-president Raymond Pao told The Straits Times that the company will launch the product in a few months.
Besides testing the VR demo stations, gamers can have a go at a racing car simulator. The store also sells popular comic-book figurines such as Iron Man.
Harvey Norman has partnered local games and collectibles chain PLAYe to offer a pickup service. Gamers can order video-game titles via PLAYe's website or app and pick them up at the Games Hub.
In conjunction with the opening of the Games Hub, Harvey Norman has organised a League of Legends competition at its Millenia Walk outlet, with the finals taking place on Saturday. Gamers can also take photos with cosplayers and meet the all-girls gaming team Girlaxy.