Game stores have a limited number of products which cater for the high-end tech market.
This was our assessment following a visit to two major Game stores in Gauteng.
Game is a subsidiary of the Massmart Group, which recently announced the closure of all its Dion Wired stores in South Africa.
Dion Wired’s product range was aimed at customers who seek top-of-the-range electronics, including new smartphones and TVs.
Following the closure of Dion Wired’s stores, an FAQ page on Game’s website stated that Dion Wired customers “can still get all your favourite brands at Game”.
Dion Wired’s website also stated that customers can get their “favourite brands” at Game.
Game has indicated that its stores will also handle the delivery, collection, repairs, and lay-by purchases of any products bought at Dion Wired.
Massmart did not confirm whether it would start stocking more premium tech products at Game or Makro going forward, however.
“Decisions about our tech product assortment in both Game and Makro are based primarily upon brand-specific market research results and customer demand,” Massmart said.
To find out if Game will be a suitable store for former Dion Wired customers, we visited two major Game stores in Gauteng.
Big TV range
The Game stores we visited had a wide selection of TVs, with units ranging from 22 inches to 70 inches in size.
Brands available included Samsung, LG, Hisense, Sinotec, Telefunken, and JVC.
There were also many 40 and 55-inch FHD and UHD displays priced between R2,999 and R9,999.
Game’s top-end offering we saw was the 55-inch Samsung Q60R QLED TV at R14,999, with the biggest TV in these stores being the 70-inch Hisense UHD Smart TV at R13,999.
By comparison, Dion Wired’s top TV products included a range of Samsung 8K QLED TVs.
We found that Game stocked a good amount of audio hardware – including soundbars, home theatre units, Hi-Fi systems, wireless speakers, headphones, and radios.
However, while it had more stock, Game’s selection could not compete with the premium range available at Dion Wired.
For example, there were around 10 different soundbars available at Game, ranging from a basic R799 Sinotec 2.0 stereo system to a Samsung Harman/Kardon system at R5,999.
The top-of-the-line soundbar system available from Dion Wired was a 500W Samsung Dolby soundbar, which was priced at R29,865.
When it came to headphones and wireless speakers, Game’s options were limited to brands like Volkano, Amplify, Polaroid, JVC, and Shox.
Computers and peripherals
Both Game stores had a good range of keyboards and mice, USB drives, and external drives, as well as printers for personal home use.
Wired and wireless keyboards and mouses were available from brands like Ultralink, i-Life, Logitech, and Microsoft. Of these, the Microsoft 850 Wireless combo was the most expensive at R599.
Flash drives from SanDisk, Lexar, and Toshiba were available and ranged between 16GB and 64GB in capacity. A few 1TB and 2TB Western Digital and Seagate external drives were also on offer.
When it came to PC monitors, only five units were available from the first store, and the second store only offered three displays.
The biggest monitor available from Game was a 27-inch Telefunken Full HD LED display with a price tag of R2,999.
Laptops in the stores were mostly entry-level office products. The most powerful machine available was a 15.6-inch Acer Aspire 3 with Intel i5-6200U processor, 8GB RAM, and a 1TB HDD for R6,999.
No gaming laptops were available at Game, while Dion Wired offered an ASUS ROG Strix laptop with an Intel Core i7, 16GB RAM, and Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060.
Game also does not stock any of Apple’s MacBook laptops from what we saw, which were available at Dion Wired.
No flagship smartphones
It was evident that Game primarily aims its cellphones at the mid-range and budget markets.
The most expensive smartphone we could find was a Samsung Galaxy A50 priced at R6,699, while Game’s website shows it also stocks the iPhone 7 32GB at R7,999.
There were plenty of devices available for under R5,000 – mostly from Huawei, Samsung, Hisense, Honor, and Nokia.
An alternative, but not a replacement
Based on our experience, it is clear that Dion Wired had a massive advantage over Game when it came to premium tech products.
For those consumers seeking only the best electronics, Game may not be able to meet their needs.
However, shoppers who value affordability will find that Game has a wider variety of budget and mid-range electronics than Dion Wired.
The most impressive tech products we were able to find across seven categories at the two Game stores we visited are shown below.