Gaming is serious business, with interest in this activity possibly at an all-time high. Brands are more than happy to fuel the fire in an attempt to cater to the highly specific demands of this community. We sat down with Vickram Bedi, Senior Director (Personal Systems), HP India, to talk all things gaming, figure out where the industry is headed, and what’s HP doing to get the attention of the users.
Q. How do you see the gaming segment in India evolving, and the role HP can potentially play in that evolution?
The Indian gaming industry is growing and is right up there in the global scheme of things, and India is now becoming one of the prominent markets for gaming laptops. During the pandemic, as the interest in gaming surged, a growing trend of mobile gamers switching to PC-based gaming emerged simultaneously, giving a major growth area for HP to work on. There has also been a huge perception shift in gaming. 90 percent respondents of HP India Gaming Landscape Report 2021 viewed gaming as a viable career opportunity. Moreover, we also see multiple career opportunities in the same segments as content creation, streaming, running, or organising esports activities. With this evolution, India is all set to become a PC gaming hotspot.
We were one of the earliest to come out in the industry with a complete portfolio, including desktops, laptops, backpacks for VR experiences and an ecosystem of accessories for gaming and we continue to introduce products to help our consumers have the best experience.
Q. Give us some details on HP’s range of latest gaming devices, and what you are seeking to achieve with this portfolio.
Today’s gamers need the right experience and technology to get the most out of gaming. Innovative thermal technology and winning horsepower, stunning visuals and larger screens supported with great accessories to bring games to life by enhancing the overall experience. In addition to this – given the boundaries of innovation, there’s an extremely high demand for performance, with the latest GPUs and CPUs consuming a lot of power and creating heat. Gamers are also looking for devices that are designed to match their personalities. So, we need products that can combine both these factors.
Based on this user insight, HP has engineered a new gaming ecosystem with its OMEN and Victus laptops and desktops range that not only caters to diverse types of gamers but also lets them get more immersed, involved, and improve their level of play. The OMEN and the Victus we launched last year are remarkably successful. Now, we have refreshed them with the latest technologies, the current-gen CPUs from Intel 6000 series and AMD Ryzen along with the latest GPUs from Nvidia. So, we have made minor tweaks and adjustments to an already beautiful design with Gen-on-Gen engine which drives better cooling, enabling better performance for the gamers. With the new OMEN, we refined the design – making it more elegant. Similarly, Victus follows from there – the design quotient is extremely high.
We continue to modernise our products because gaming will always be at the cusp of innovations as we go forward. We understand that gaming is no longer specific to a certain segment of the audience. No matter what type of gamer – professional, enthusiast, mainstream – HP has a gaming solution for everyone.
Q. Give us an idea of HP’s roadmap and future growth strategy for the gaming PC business.
At HP, we believe in the power of ‘insight-based innovation’ where we try and understand how our customers are using technology, what pain points they have, and how can we help them overcome them by converting insights into products and features. Our recent line-up of product launches reflects this commitment. We are innovating to meet consumer needs to address the evolving requirements of consumers.
From a hardware standpoint, we try to ensure that we have devices that cater to the needs of gamers ranging from very casual gamers who play basic games to enthusiast-level gaming athletes who participate in competitions, and we have a wide array of roadmap strategies for preventing gaming vectors to OMEN that cater to all these needs.
Gaming is going to continue growing in high double digits, as we go forward. As it scales, we will endeavour to grow faster than the market. We are deeply invested in elevating and evolving the gaming community –to foster creativity and innovation while creating a safe environment for every type of gamer. As the world of gaming is being redefined, wide adoption depends on low latency solutions that eliminate frustrating performance disruptions and delays. Keeping gamers engaged requires innovative technology that powers real-time, interactive gaming at the edge.
We share our users’ passion for the game – be it the casual, mainstream, or professional gamers and try to deliver technology to enable the best game play for them.
Q. Any details on HP initiatives to support young and aspiring gamers? What is HP doing to engage the gaming community in India?
Gamers always want to know more about games and consume content to upskill and better their game. Gamers in India consume a lot of gameplays, live stream content in video format. With the OMEN Playground, HP is providing a one-stop destination for gamers to Upskill, Engage and Empower. On the community’s Youtube channel – OMEN India, there are gaming videos from pro gamers to learn from. On the Playground there is OMEN newsroom that helps gamers stay up to date on the larger world of gaming with reviews, news and featured articles on gaming and gives an opportunity to join the OMEN Squad, which presents a chance for gamers to launch their own career and become gaming idols with OMEN’s support. In addition to this, HP has onboarded renowned Indian gamers who provide regular content to help aspiring and budding Indian gamers.
Q. What do you think will be the next big thing in gaming?
Gaming’s ever-changing gear, there’s always pushing the boundaries of the latest and the greatest in terms of performance, but also in terms of experiences gameplay and innovative technologies.
In fact, gaming has become more of a lifestyle now – especially with the youth. Given the demographics of India being young consumers, they are looking for devices that can serve multiple purposes – both gaming and personal work. We are also increasingly seeing the penetration of gaming in Tier II and III locations. Furthermore, gamers are also looking at the deliberate downtime that gaming provides in a social or virtual environment. People are accepting the idea of meeting new people through games, thereby building new communities. When we conducted our survey, we found that over 92 percent respondents agreed that gaming helps reduce stress and induce positive feelings. So, it’s a combination of the demographics, the lifestyle factor, and the social aspect, which will continue for the upcoming years.