We recently caught up with Vickram Bedi, (Senior Director), Personal Systems at HP India to understand what the company is up to in the Indian sub-continent. He was kind enough to take us through the recent journey and what is in store for the consumers in the coming quarters. There is something coming for regular users as well as gamers from the brand HP. Here is his full commentary.
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The Indian PC gaming market has witnessed remarkable growth over the last few years. Could you share some insights into the factors driving this growth and the potential you see for further expansion in the near future?
The gaming landscape in India has undergone a remarkable transformation, evolving from professional gamers to a broader mainstream audience. In 2016, the country sold approximately 40,000 gaming notebooks annually. However, the numbers took a leap to nearly one million units by 2022, showcasing an overwhelming growth rate of around 2000% in just a span of 6-7 years.
Despite softness in the overall PC market, the sales of gaming PCs are continuing the momentum. Following robust expansion in 2022, gaming PC sales have continued to demonstrate year-on-year growth in the initial quarter of 2023. Over the past 4-5 years, the market for gaming PCs has displayed robust double-digit expansion, and this pattern is anticipated to persist in the long term.
While India has always stood as a significant hub for mobile gaming, a notable transition from mobile gamers to experience PC gaming is currently unfolding. A substantial number of Indian gamers are actively seeking ways to elevate their gaming experiences, prompting their shift towards PC gaming.
With the transformation of the gaming audience from mainly professional gamers to a more mainstream crowd, how does HP plan to position itself as a frontrunner in providing cutting-edge gaming solutions to cater to this evolving gaming community?
Gaming has transcended beyond only serious gamers. It now spans across diverse groups of people including mainstream audiences. Our aim is to make gaming mainstream and create a gaming ecosystem that appeals to all types of audiences. This has led us to expand and diversify our gaming portfolio. Our introduction of OMEN and Victus laptops and desktops stands as a testament to this commitment. These offerings have been meticulously crafted not only to cater to the varied preferences of different types of gamers but also to create an environment of deep immersion, heightened engagement, and enriched gameplay.
Our new Victus 16 laptops are built for mainstream gamers, offering high performance in an affordable budget. It comes with 13th Gen Intel Core i7 mobile processor and up to NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4060 Laptop GPUs for strong performance. Elevated through OMEN Dynamic Power, users can start their gaming journeys with the flexibility for schoolwork, entertainment, and content creation. Victus now features HP’s robust OMEN Tempest Cooling solution as well as an IR thermopile sensor to accurately manage temperatures.
HP has expressed a strategic focus on catering to casual gamers. Could you elaborate on the comprehensive vision and strategy behind creating a gaming ecosystem that addresses the diverse needs of casual gamers across India?
In recent conversations with our customers, we noticed a significant shift in the preferences of casual gamers. They no longer seek devices exclusively tailored for gaming purposes. Instead, they are moving towards a more versatile approach that is a blend of work and entertainment. This emerging trend emphasizes the seamless integration of various activities. Rather than toggling between distinct devices for separate tasks, casual gamers now express a desire for laptops that effortlessly transition between gaming, productivity, and more. Our latest laptops including Omen Transcend 16, Omen 16 and Victus 16 are all built with this in mind.
Moreover, our strategy involves integrating premium features from our flagship OMEN lineup into more affordable options like the Victus laptops. In essence, HP is democratizing technology by bridging the gap between high-end and accessible devices. This innovative approach ensures that individuals with budget constraints are empowered to access cutting-edge components and features, thereby enhancing their experiences and day-to-day activities alike. Our focus lies in creating opportunities for consumers to engage with technology at its best.
Could you provide more details about HP’s latest gaming portfolio? We’re particularly interested in learning about the ground-breaking laptops, cutting-edge monitors, and immersive headphones that are part of this new offering.
Today, gamers are looking for devices that are a combination of slimness, lightweight design, robust power, and portability. Moreover, they need devices that can seamlessly adapt to both work and play, creating a hybrid environment that caters to their diverse needs. Our recently unveiled range of PCs, which comprises the OMEN Transcend 16, OMEN 16, Victus 16, and the HyperX 27-inch gaming monitor, has been crafted to cater to the shifting demands of consumers in this evolving landscape.
Omen Transcend 16 is HP’s thinnest and lightest gaming PC at under 2.1kg and 19.9 mm, with strong performance capabilities with NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4070 series graphics and 13th Gen Intel Core i9-13900HX processor. It is built for gaming and creation with a cutting-edge screen, premium slim chassis, and high-end internal components. Additionally, the advanced Omen 16 laptop is the most powerful version of the device yet, with upgrades across the board in CPU, GPU, and display speeds.
It comes with 13th Gen Intel Core i7 mobile processor and up to NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080 GPUs for an elevated gaming experience. With up to 32 GB DDR5-5600 MHz RAM, users will experience insanely quick load times for seamless gaming. The OMEN Transcend 16 Laptop is available at a starting price of Rs 1,59,999 and the OMEN 16 is available at starting price of Rs 1,04,999.
The HyperX 27-inch gaming monitor is built for enthusiast gamers, offering 165Hz refresh rate along with 1ms response time and 1440p QHD display. The monitor also offers customizable monitor setup to suit the different needs of gamers. Every device in our lineup comes equipped with OMEN Tempest Cooling, ensuring better cooling performance to keep your gaming sessions running smoothly. In collaboration with HyperX, we have even engineered the world’s first gaming laptops with an embedded module for intuitive audio pairing.
All our newly announced products come enhanced with powerful features from the OMEN Gaming Hub. These features are designed to optimize and personalize your PC experiences, whether you are a passionate gamer or a creative professional. With our latest PC portfolio, we are confident that we have created devices that not only meet but exceed the expectations of gamers and creators alike.
As the gaming market becomes increasingly competitive, what unique features or innovations does HP’s gaming portfolio bring to the table that differentiates it from other offerings in the market?
We are determined to stand out in the gaming hardware industry, not just as another company, but as a complete gaming solution company for our consumers. Gaming has become more mainstream than ever, and we wanted to be the ones leading the charge in serving this larger audience.
The OMEN Tempest Cooling is a feature implemented in our new lineup of Omen laptops and desktops to enhance their thermal performance. It is designed to effectively dissipate heat generated by high-performance components, such as powerful CPUs and GPUs, during intense gaming sessions or resource-intensive tasks. It incorporates a thoughtful design that optimizes airflow within the device.
It utilizes strategically placed vents, air intakes, and exhausts to facilitate the intake of cool air and the expulsion of hot air, thus improving overall thermal management. Moreover, the cooling system integrates multiple heat pipes, which are responsible for transferring heat away from the critical components. Heat pipes efficiently conduct heat from the heat sources to the heat sinks, where it can be dissipated more effectively.
Additionally, with the HyperX headphones integration and software upgrades such as Omen Gaming Hub, we aim to provide a holistic gaming experience to our consumers.
Building a strong gaming ecosystem involves not just hardware, but also software and services. How is HP approaching the holistic gaming experience, ensuring that gamers have access to a well-rounded set of tools and resources?
Our newly launched gaming portfolio is enhanced with the powerful new OMEN Gaming Hub. This software is specifically designed to optimize your gaming performance and ensure you get the most out of your PC and games. It offers a range of tools for performance optimization, personalized controls to customize your setup according to your preferences, and the flexibility to play all your favourite games effortlessly.
The Processor Core Affinity Optimization within OMEN Optimizer helps in up to a 10 percent improvement in FPS. ECO Mode yields up to 20 percent longer battery life and up to a 7 dB reduction in fan noise in OMEN and Victus Laptops for quieter gaming sessions. Combined with other features such as Performance Mode, Network Booster, System Vitals, OMEN Gaming Hub enables gaming devices to work better together for a more enjoyable experience.
We are proud to share that we currently have 2 million monthly active users with 40 million games boosted on Omen Gaming Hub.
The gaming industry often experiences rapid technological advancements. How does HP plan to stay ahead of the curve and continue to provide relevant and up-to-date gaming solutions to the Indian market?
Being the foremost brand for Gaming PCs in India, we consistently listen to the gaming community, enabling us to constantly enhance our range of products. Our focus resides in providing solutions to the evolving preferences of gamers. We also understand that gamers come from various backgrounds, whether they are transitioning from mobile gaming to PC, passionate enthusiasts, or professional players.
That’s why we offer a diverse selection of gaming devices to cater to all types of gamers. This approach has proven to be highly successful for us, as we continue to meet the needs and preferences of our valued customers.
The gaming community has diverse preferences and requirements. Could you share some insights into how HP plans to engage with gamers, gather feedback, and iterate on its gaming products and services accordingly?
According to user inputs, gamers wanted devices that support a strong cooling system while playing AAA games. Cooling technology, storage, RAM, and battery life are unique and crucial features for gaming devices, and a whopping 89% of consumers are willing to pay extra for these features.
Our market research has shown us that customers often underestimate the importance of thermal management when purchasing a gaming machine. That’s why we have focused on improving the thermal with Omen Tempest Cooling to our entire new gaming portfolio with Omen Transcend and Omen 16 being 34 percent and 29 percent better respectively, on thermals than their predecessors.
We achieved this by redesigning our devices with a new airflow system and thinner blades. We also incorporated a square venting design to allow more air to flow in and out, and we made sure that the top hinge trunk doesn’t block the rear venting.
In addition to this, we have introduced the ECO Mode in the Omen Gaming Hub. This feature can reduce fan noise by up to 7 dB in OMEN and Victus Laptops, providing a more peaceful environment for intense gaming sessions.
We have also learnt from our insights that gamers are looking for an elevated gaming experience. As I mentioned above, we integrated our gaming ecosystem with HyperX peripherals.
Inclusivity and accessibility are important aspects of any gaming ecosystem. How is HP ensuring that its gaming solutions are accessible to a wide range of gamers, including those with varying levels of experience and ability who come from smaller towns and cities?
Like I mentioned above, we are focused on making gaming mainstream and creating an ecosystem that appeals to all types of gamers. Our vision is to democratize gaming and we have introduced a range of gaming products for each audience segment, keeping this in mind. Our Omen Transcend 16 caters to gamers and creators, Omen 16 is focused on serious gamers and Victus 16 is built for mainstream gamers in an affordable budget.
HP has a strong legacy in India and as a brand, we are focused on making technology accessible. We are present across India and have our sales and service footprints everywhere including remote areas such as Leh, Daman and Nagercoil. We have 750+ exclusive stores and provide onsite customer support in 1,800+ cities. HP has been leading the Indian PC market with over 30% share (IDC), and this is a testament to customers’ confidence in us.
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