Dell_20181213

Bharat Shenoy
Market Analyst, PC Devices
IDC India

Are we Game for Gaming Notebooks?

In a country like India with its huge but diverse population, outdoor sports, especially cricket has always been the popular choice among students as well as adults. Kids have grown up idolizing cricket stars and dreamt of being an icon like Gavaskar, Tendulkar, or Kohli. But with passage of time, due to limited outdoor playing space, time crunch, nuclear families, and competitive schooling children are slowly drifting towards online indoor games on their computers, mobiles, and / or gaming consoles. Factors such as affordable internet, increased smartphone penetration, decreasing cost of gaming hardware, growing popularity of online gaming, etc. are driving gaming industry and has led to the emergence of e-sports in the country. This is giving impetus to professional gaming just like in countries like China, Taiwan, South Korea where professional gaming is a big source of income for gamers and entertainment for enthusiasts through e-sports. Improved digital payment infrastructure and increasing disposable income have also played a significant role in growing popularity of gaming industry.

Even though mobile gaming has become popular due to the growing smartphone adoption and increasing 4G penetration, PC gaming is picking up fast and is becoming one of the preferred options for gaming enthusiasts. Aided by the availability of top-end hardware’s and software’s at affordable prices and improving internet bandwidth has led to increased demand for gaming notebooks in last 2 years.

PC gaming has started gaining traction among gamers due to improved gaming experience on computers. The gaming specific computers come with much better display quality and graphics compared to the consoles. These notebooks are not only mobile and user-friendly but are also getting increasingly powerful with time. As the gamers prefer to store games and preloaded files, the brands are providing increased storage capacity. Fiber to the Home (FTTH) technology has led to increased broadband speed which allows for a smoother streaming of online games. This is also leading to mushrooming of gaming cafes in smaller cities and towns with small scale gaming tournaments a big hit among college students.

The factors such as faster processors, 4G and 5G connectivity on PC’s, and longer battery life have made gaming notebook and online gaming very exciting. It is leading to lot of innovations among the vendors. For example, in CES 2019, Intel displayed its gaming laptop prototype, Honeycomb Glacier with 2 screens for the gamer; a primary panel of 15.6” and a secondary screen of 12.3” and the screens are integrated in such a way that they complement each other helping the gamer with bigger real estate. Similarly, AMD’s latest Ryzen 3000 series processor is considered one of the fastest processors for ultrathin notebooks and supports features such as smooth gaming, 4K HDR streaming, wake on voice, etc.

All these factors are forcing the PC vendors and processor manufacturers betting big on gaming market in India. Furthermore, the E-sports tournaments which started taking place in India since last few years are getting rave reviews and have contributed to increasing popularity of gaming in India. Events such as ESL One, CBOX Masters etc. have become extremely popular leading to TV channels and OTT service players securing rights to telecast them.

Asus has one ROG store in Bhuvaneshwar while other 2 being in Kolkata and Bangalore. Similarly, Dell had GamerConnect events in cities such as Jaipur, Mangalore, etc. These are some of the indicators which highlight PC gaming is getting traction in not just in metros but is also picking up in tier-2 and tier-3 cities. Online sales from Amazon and Flipkart give heavy discounts on gaming notebooks, especially during big billion sale which has also led to increased sales. Not just entry level gaming PC’s but also relatively higher configuration PC’s of 8GB RAM and mid-range graphic cards are also gaining momentum due to growing number of serious gamers. Currently, mobile gaming dominates the gaming industry in India. However, PC gaming is preferred by serious gamers and a big chunk of mobile gamers attached to e-sports are expected to embrace PC gaming for better experience which would automatically drive PC gaming

Gaming Notebook market in India is on the rise since last couple of years and is expected do better in coming years. Asus was one of the first vendors to have focused on gaming category but soon all the vendors followed suit. Traction towards exciting new categories such as branded gaming notebooks continued in CY2018, clocking a growth of 123% YoY as per IDC Asia/Pacific Quarterly Personal Computing Device Tracker, February 2019. This just highlights the growing popularity of gaming notebooks which is expected to witness further growth in coming years. Acer and Asus have been frontrunners in this segment and are betting big on gaming notebooks for 2019 and ahead. Similarly, HP, Dell, and Lenovo are also driving their gaming models and are expected to clock strong numbers in 2019 and ahead.

Gaming is slowly but becoming a serious business in India and is also expected to create several job opportunities. It has also given a new dimension to notebooks which has witnessed limited noteworthy innovation in recent years. Gone are the days when playing games was considered as waste of time. It is on verge of becoming a part of our lives and becoming a profession to many. The game seems to have just started and we are already on a fast lane!

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