Arabian Reseller speaks to Hao-Wen Yang, the Marketing Manager at MSI, about the state of the gaming industry in the region
What sort of market trends have you seen in the PC Gaming community?
For MSI in the region, 2017 was a promising year. Our sales went through the roof when compared with 2016. VR is the hot topic right now and so people want to upgrade their PC/Laptop to “VR Ready”.
Instead of only caring about the specs before (CPU, GPU, RAM and so on), we have found that people have started to care about the gaming features of the latest gaming laptops on the market. This is a good sign for MSI because we invest a lot on the keyboard, panel, storage, and audio technology, which cannot be shown in the specs list.
This is the main difference between MSI and our competitors who claim they have the “gaming laptop”. VAT has definitely impacted our sales in 2018 Q1. However, since MSI was the first brand to launch Intel 8th Gen CPU in the region, the market has recovered for us and is currently healthy since the start of April.
What sort of products and services do gamers go for in the region?
People love FPS game here, such as CSGO, Overwatch, and PUBG. In FPS game, the quality of the panel and the audio are very important. They need a panel that can offer high refresh rates and clear audio to recognize where the enemy is. That’s why our GE63, which is first gaming laptop with a 3ms/120hz panel and ESS Hi-Fi Audio chip, received accolades in this region. The newest GS65, the first gaming laptop with a 144hz thin bezel panel, will soon be launched.
What is the split between console gaming and PC gaming in the region?
Since NVidia launched the 10 series GPU, the gap of graphics performance between PC and console has become bigger. Gamers can enjoy much better AAA gaming experience through PCs. Not to mention that PC has the big advantage in online gaming capability.
The cost of the game is also an issue for a console player. PC has tons of free online games, and Steam is always running promotions for offering special discounts on games it carries within its ecosystem. With the popularity of PUBG and Fortnite, more and more console gamers have started to come back to PCs for gaming.
What more needs to be done in the region for increased uptake of PC gaming?
In the region, we have seen that lots of brands have started investing in the regional gaming industry. This is very good for the local gaming community. We can see that every month, at least one or two eSports tournaments happen in Dubai.
However, we still need a powerful and unique platform to integrate all the resources. From our experience in Asia and US, the power usually comes from popular game publishers, such as Riots or Blizzard. They have to build the local server here, support the community, and then organize official regional leagues. We could then follow their step, and support the local community.
The industry still needs to educate local people that the best gaming experience can only be had through a gaming PC or a laptop. These gaming machines should come with lots of special features, which can help the gamers enjoy their gaming sessions a bit more.