Not content with dominating our living rooms, kitchens and bedrooms, Ikea is coming for our video game dens. The flatpack furniture giant has announced a new collection aimed specifically at game players.
Set for release in UK stores on 1 October, the range will feature more than 30 products including gaming desks, chairs and accessories.
Ikea says it has collaborated closely with Republic of Gamers (ROG), a gaming sub-brand of tech company Asus, to ensure specific comfort features for game players. The emphasis on comfort is perhaps most explicitly realised in the Lånespelare neck pillow and multi-functional cushion/blanket – a sort of giant padded sofa anorak, which does little to combat the cliche of lazy slovenly gamers, but will be amazing for weekend-long Fortnite sessions. There are also game-streaming accessories including a smartphone holder and ring lamp, and a handy headphone holder that actually looks like a hand.
“We believe there’s a lot to be done to democratise the gaming experience,” said Ewa Rychert, Ikea’s global business leader of workspaces. “We’ve taken the first step on our gaming journey, and have done it by offering consumers affordable, high-performing gaming products and complete home solutions that we hope reflect people’s personality and taste.”
But has it? Some of the products, including the Huvudspelare gaming chair, desk and drawer unit, will be recognisable to Ikea shoppers familiar with its home office range. Established gaming furniture brands such as SecretLab and NobleChairs revel in the brash aesthetics of game design, with bright colours and hilariously macho product names – Ikea’s products look just like the store’s usual sensible ergonomic furniture. There also seem to be some obvious elements missing from the Ikea range including decent dual monitor arms and fully programmable LED lighting strips – both essential elements of the modern gaming room. Plus, it’s all PC focused right now, so there are no console storage options designed to accept the gigantic PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X machines, which would certainly help a lot of frustrated owners.
But as Rychert says, this is the store’s first step. Perhaps it has plans for all of these items and more. We’ll know they have truly embedded into the lifestyle when we get Ikea-branded energy drinks and tortilla chips.