Ikea, the purveyors of machine-cut particle board and gravy-soaked meatballs, are taking on the expensive and overpriced gaming furniture and accessories market.
In association with Asus Republic of Gamers, the retailer says it will release a new line of gaming-focused furniture and accessories in October for the U.S., U.K. and Irish markets. Not all accessories will launch at once, as some will land in January of 2022.
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"We believe there’s a lot to be done to democratize the gaming experience," said Ewa Rychert, global business leader of workspace for Ikea of Sweden in a press release trumpeting the news. "Now, we take the first step on our gaming journey, and we do it by presenting affordable, high-performing gaming products and complete solutions that we hope reflect people’s personality and taste."
The new line of furniture and accessories includes desks with height adjustability, chairs, headphone stands, a tumbler, neck pillow, what's essentially a Snuggie, mousepads and a ring light. In total, the lineup includes 30 products.
Of all the accessories, the line of gaming chairs seems to be the most intriguing. There are five new models of gaming chairs that Ikea is introducing, ranging in price from $69 to $349.
On the low end is the Huvudspelare, a $69 chair that beats the FlexiSpot Gaming Chair GC01, the cheapest chair on our best gaming chairs list, by $80. It's a polyester chair with a mesh back on a steel construction.
Then follows the Utespelare, a black or grey polyester/polyurethane/cotton blend seat that's not especially plush, but leans in on Ikea's minimalist aesthetic.
Moving up is the Matchspel, a $189 chair that also uses a polyester/polyurethane/cotton construction over steel, but with a mesh back and mesh headrest.
The penultimate gaming chair by Ikea is the Gruppspel, a $289 chair that's all polyester on a steel frame with a mesh headrest.
Sitting at the top of Ikea's gaming chair line is the Gruppspel grain leather gaming chair at $349. Unlike the other chairs, it uses grain leather from cattle, but follows the same design as the $289 Gruppspel.
Of all of these chairs, the $129 Utespelare and the $349 leather Gruppspel could be the biggest deal, undercutting competition by hundreds of dollars. The former gives a sleek racing-seat look, but at a price that, in some cases, is $200 less.
It should be noted that the GT Racing Pro Series can be bought for the same price as Ikea's Utespelare chair. Of course, it doesn't look nearly as padded with foam as its competitors, so we'll have to wait for reviews to see how it pans out. But the leather Gruppspel undercuts competitors like the SecretLab Titan made with Napa leather or the Razer Iskur by $450 and $150 respectively.
Ikea's press releases suggests that its model is full leather, and not a cheaper bonded leather material that's found on many lower-end chairs. Bonded leather, unlike full-grain leather, is made by gluing together fibers of both real and fake leather. While the look can be similar to full-grain leather, the durability is often lacking, with the material tending to peel and fade over time.
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