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Gaming PCs emerge as bright spot for laptop makers in a slowing market

At a time when the overall personal computer (PC)and laptop market is witnessing a slowdown, gaming PCs and laptops are seeing a massive uptake. From just 40,000 gaming laptops being sold in 2016, it has surged to over one million units as devices get more affordable and gaming goes beyond professionals.

“The gaming landscape in India has gone through a notable transformation, from catering primarily to professional gamers to a broader, more mainstream audience. While the overall PC market has shown demand softness, gaming PC sales is bucking the trend and after strong growth in 2022, gaming PC sales has registered y-o-y growth in the first quarter of 2023. Over the past 4-5 years, the gaming PC market has consistently achieved strong double-digit growth rates, and we anticipate this trend to continue in the long term,” says Vickram Bedi, Senior Director (Personal Systems), HP India.

India has traditionally been a market for mobile gaming, but now, there is a significant shift from mobile gamers to PC gaming enthusiasts. A considerable number of gamers in India are actively looking to elevate their gaming experiences, which is why they are increasingly drawn to the world of PC gaming.

“Gamers nowadays are seeking devices that encompass a blend of several key attributes. Firstly, they value slim and lightweight designs, as these features make their gaming devices highly portable and easy to carry around. These slim and lightweight designs are particularly essential for gamers who are constantly on the move or want the flexibility to take their gaming experience with them,” says Bedi.

Post pandemic there’s a growing demand for devices that can seamlessly transition between work and play. Many gamers use their devices not only for gaming but also for productivity tasks like work or school.

Arnold Su, Business Head at ASUS India, offers insights into the factors guiding consumer choices in gaming laptops. With new gadgets entering the market, he says, “ There are several factors that can drive a consumer’s purchasing decision when it comes to gaming laptops. Consumers prioritise high-performance hardware, including processor speed, graphics card, and RAM, as well as a high-quality display with high resolutions, refresh rates, and colour accuracy. Additionally, brand reputation, price, design, battery life, and customer reviews also play a role in the decision-making process.”

The booming gaming market is also leading to job opportunities. A recent study by the E-Gaming Federation and the Indian Statistical Institute showed that 73 per cent of respondents expressing a strong interest in pursuing careers in the sector. According to Malay Kumar Shukla, Secretary of the E-Gaming Federation, “This strong sentiment of respondents and their significant interest in considering a career in the industry aligns with the industry’s rapid integration of advanced technologies like AI/ML and VR, positioning India as a leading force in technological advancements. With many such new-age technologies on the horizon, the online gaming industry has a huge potential to revolutionise Indian technological innovation and create new opportunities for the sector”.

One of the disruptors for PC makers could be the rise of Virtual Reality (VR) gaming. Navkendar Singh, AVP, of Devices Research, IDC Asia Pacific, says, “Gamers always seek more immersive and realistic experiences, wherever they can find. While traditional consoles still dominate the market, VR gaming is gaining ground, especially among enthusiasts and early adopters. As VR technology advances and becomes more affordable, it’s poised to increasingly challenge the traditional console gaming market in India.”

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