India’s youth is embracing PC gaming in an unprecedented way, making India one of the top PC gaming countries in the world. Advanced thermal technology, faster refresh, clear display, and smooth output are vital to enhancing the gaming experience, Vickram Bedi, senior director (Personal Systems), HP India, told Sudhir Chowdhary in a recent interview, with reference to the American tech major upgrading its gaming PC lineup with new Omen and Victus notebooks and desktops. Excerpts:
How has the gaming scenario evolved in India?
The Indian gaming industry is growing fast, with the country becoming one of the top markets for gaming laptops. As interest in gaming surged during the pandemic, a trend emerged of mobile gamers switching to PC-based gaming, offering our company a major growth area to capitalise on.
There has also been a huge perception shift with regard to gaming. Around 90% of the respondents in HP India Gaming Landscape Report 2021 viewed gaming as a viable career opportunity. We too discern career opportunities in segments like content creation, streaming, and organisation of e-sports activities. This means India is all set to become a PC gaming hotspot.
What are the major gaming trends you have spotted in these years?
Gaming is constantly changing gear. There’s always a move to push the boundaries in terms of performance, as also with regard to gameplay and new technologies. In fact, gaming has become part of lifestyles now – especially with the youth.
Given India’s young population, consumers are looking for devices that can serve multiple purposes – of both gaming and work. We are also increasingly seeing the penetration of gaming in tier-II & III locations.
Furthermore, gamers are looking at the downtime that gaming provides in a social or virtual environment. People are accepting the idea of meeting new people through gaming, thereby building new communities. When we conducted our survey for the HP India Gaming Landscape Report 2021 , we found over 92% of the respondents agreeing that gaming helps reduce stress and induces positive feelings. So, it’s a combination of India’s demographics, the lifestyle factor, and need for social engagement that will drive the industry’s growth in the coming years.
What is your current market share in the gaming segment in the country?
Gaming represents a significant opportunity for the Indian PC industry and continues to be a key driver of HP’s growth in that category. In fact, with PC gaming becoming very popular with the youth, we are seeing unprecedented growth. Sales of gaming notebooks have grown at a CAGR of about 50% over the last couple of years. From 40K gaming notebooks being sold in India in 2016, the figure jumped to 8,00,000 units in 2021, which is 2,000% growth in just five years.
India is among the top three markets in the world right now and we believe it will grow faster than some of the other markets. We have grown by 100% and are one of the leading players in the segment. And, with our roadmap and offerings which provide customers choice and a great experience, we can grow even faster as we go forward.
What is the trend in terms of technology in gaming devices? How is HP meeting the needs of gamers with its new 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 by great accessories bring games to life by enhancing the overall experience of the users.
Keeping these in mind, HP has engineered a new gaming ecosystem with its OMEN and Victus laptops and desktops range, which not only cater to diverse types of gamers but also let them get more immersed and involved in the proceedings, raising their playing levels. The OMEN, and the Victus we launched last year have been remarkably successful. We have now refreshed them with the latest technologies, the current-gen CPUs from Intel 6000 series and AMD Ryzen, along with the latest GPUs from Nvidia.