Think about your favourite athletes across a number of sports. Whether it’s Giannis Antetokounmpo in the NBA, Cristiano Ronaldo in the Premier League, Emma Raducanu in the WTA, Tiger Woods in the PGA Tour, or long-distance runner Eliud Kipchoge, they all have one thing in common: they wear Nike gear. This is a marketing tactic as old as time: endorse the professionals to wear your products and the masses will want to imitate them.
That’s the goal of Sony with its new INZONE brand, which currently spans a trio of headsets and a couple of high-end monitors. The company will insert the gear into its EVO event later in the year, and is partnering with Riot Games on its Valorant Champions Tour. Why? Well if you ever look at any professional gamer’s YouTube or Twitch channel, you’ll see dozens upon dozens of people asking about their setup. It’s the exact same play as Nike.
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“We’re going to start at the top and learn what top eSports gamers want,” executive deputy president Kazuo Kii told Nikkei. “The vision we have in mind is that of Mizuno and Nike providing shoes for athletes. You can win prize money in eSports. If a monitor’s response time lags even slightly, you lose. Sony products aren’t going to let people engaged in these gruelling battles down.”
The products, of course, will have to deliver – but Sony believes that, when it comes to its new monitors, its history with televisions will help. “Sony is unique in that we come from a background in TV manufacturing. We take pride in our picture technology. We look forward to showing customers our immersive experience and realism.”
INZONE’s first wave of products have been attracting decent reviews, with its $899.99 proving particularly popular among tech enthusiasts. Of course, this is just its first line of products, but it’s clear that the company sees a huge opportunity in the sector – and could prove a real rival to the likes Acer, Alienware, LG, Samsung, et al.