Gaming, as both an activity and as an industry has grown rapidly in the past couple of years. With the inclusion of things like VR, Crypto, NFTs, metaverse, and more, the relevance for gaming and gaming-centric devices is more than it was some time back. What was a niche category till like 2019, is now something many people are taking up in order to spend time indoors and find new avenues to make money.
Now, manufacturers are taking note of this shift and are increasing their focus on gaming and gaming-centric devices. Dell, one of the largest PC makers also owns what is one of the most popular gaming brands – Alienware. The company earlier this week launched two new Alienware X14 and Alienware M15 R7 gaming laptops in India.
On the sidelines of the Alienware X14 and Alienware M15 R7 gaming laptops, Dell‘s Director for Product Marketing for Consumer & Small Business, Anand Subramanya joined us for a quick chat where he answered some of our questions around gaming in India and Dell’s role in the growing gaming sector in India.
On Dell’s Plans For Gaming Segment in India
On Dell’s plans for the gaming sector in India, Subramanya said that the company plans to carry its trend of being at the forefront of driving the gaming industry in India. “If I am to answer that simply, Dell’s plans are to be at the forefront of driving the gaming industry, as we have been doing for the past 25 years now with Alienware. The market itself is doing great. Gaming as a segment in the last 5 years has grown multi-fold and if we look at 2021, the growth in gaming YoY has been 67 percent, which is 3X market growth. So gaming as an industry is itself doing well,” he said.
“Our focus on this segment is clear from the fact that we have two different brands addressing the different needs of gaming customers. Alienware is there with its legendary status in the gaming segment, targeted towards the enthusiasts and pro gamers. We also have our G-series of gaming laptops, which is a more entry-level offering and is for those who want to upgrade from mobile gaming to PC. Basically the plan is to bring more products to the ever-growing market and make sure all customer needs are met.”
On Dell or Alienware’s Role In The Growth In Gaming Sector in India
“As I mentioned earlier, the market grew about 67 percent, and we grew almost 116 percent at the same time. So of course, we have helped drive the PC gaming market over the past years. What has helped us here is that we take customer feedback seriously. We have several forums, community pages, and focused groups on several social media platforms to see what customers are asking for and we bring products that address those product needs. For example, today’s product is also a result of positive customer feedback.”
On The Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming And Comic (AVGC) Promotion Task Force
When asked about the AVGC promotion task force that is being set up by the Indian government, the Dell executive was not aware of the government’s initiative. Subramanya, however, said that any sort of initiatives or policies from the government that cater to the gaming industry will obviously be beneficial (similar to how Make in India and PLI schemes are helping manufacturing), but did not comment on the AVGC task force due as it is still at a nascent stage.
On Crypto Gaming and Metaverse
On Crypto gaming and Metaverse, Subramanya said that there is no metaverse-specific or crypto-specific product coming from Alienware or Dell as of now. However, he noted that the hardware that Alienware or Dell already makes are already powerful enough to help customers do any kinds of tasks they want. “Our entire focus is on bringing innovation into the PC so that customers can get high performance and have long-lasting products to serve their needs. Our hardware is compatible with new technologies and if the tasks are supported with our devices, they will have no issues running any kind of tasks. Are we actively looking into Crypto gaming or metaverse? Not currently, as the focus is completely on building the best devices for gamers out there.”
On Most Popular Products And How Dell or Alienware Takes Feedback For Upcoming Products
For this, Mr Subramanya said that since the COVID-19 pandemic began, the PC has become the centre of many households. He said that while earlier people have different devices for different tasks, those lines are merging now and people demand a more generic multi-purpose PC now.
“What really changed during the pandemic is that the PC suddenly became the center of many households. People earlier used to have a normal device and a gaming device separately. Now, those lines are merging and people have just one device for all kinds of tasks – work, learning, entertainment, so a generic multipurpose device is what people have been demanding ever since the pandemic began. Gaming grew as an event within the last two years. Further, people are looking at gaming as a “unifier” and there is no stereotype attached to gaming anymore. We saw people of all ages, genders, and interests, all playing games. Hence, the demand for gaming in general has increased. This is also why gaming has grown significantly in these years.”
On Having Two Separate Gaming-Centric Line Of PCs (Dell G-Series And Alienware)
On this, the Dell executive told us that the reason for having two separate gaming-centric laptop series’ is to cater to different kinds of gamers. In a nutshell, Subramanya told us that Alienware is for the more serious and professional gamers, while the Dell G-series is more for those who are new to PC gaming or are moving from mobile to PC. He even cited a study that shows 37 percent of mobile gamers wanting to move to a larger PC screen. He said that for those kinds of gamers, having an entry-level gaming laptop series is important.
“The reason the Dell G-series exists is that we are looking for different needs for customers. What happens is when a customer moves from mobile gaming to PC, they look for something that doesn’t burn a hole in their pocket, which is where our G-series laptops are perfect. They have the latest specs at the best prices. Further, the expertise or learnings we get from Alienware, we implement them in our Dell G-series, making it a more lucrative gaming option.”
On Chip Shortage And How Dell Plans To Avoid Disruption In Supply Chain
“We have a very strong and flexible supply chain and we are able to fulfill our customer requirement till now. That is also visible from the growth in sales that we have registered in the last year. We will continue to look at the market scenario and ensure that we are able to meet the market demand.”