Khoo Hung Chuan, Lenovo
Lenovo on how gaming is pushing the envelope of PC design and performance.
Why do you think gaming continues to keep the PC market afloat?
Gaming is always something people talk about. It is characterized by highperformance machines and exceptional features, and you need to build systems that cater to very demanding customers. The expectations of gamers are very different from mainstream users, and are in a sense a lot more exciting.
Besides performance, there are details like keyboard design and RGB lighting, all of which can be considered more advanced than what we implement on our regular machines. Because gamers need hardware designed to their very exacting requirements, the demand for newer and faster gaming machines will always be there. In comparison, someone looking for a low-power convertible may find that a tablet, or even their older laptop, will do just fine, which translates into less frequent upgrades or weaker demand.
Why introduce a gaming sub-brand now?
We’ve never had a specific name for our gaming series, so it was about time to build a recognizable brand around our gaming hardware. This will make it easier for gamers to form associations with our products. The Legion name was inspired by the Roman legions, which were something to be reckoned with.
That said, we’re also trying to create a brand for the gaming community to gather around. We’re moving beyond hardware, focusing on fostering a complete ecosystem that takes into account the driving force behind the development of increasingly powerful components, most notably eSports. In the last year, we had quite a few events, including a League of Legends tournament and sponsorship of the ESL One Genting Dota 2 competition alongside Microsoft.
We’re really keen on being a key player in the gaming ecosystem with the Legion brand going forward, and active engagement with the gaming community is going to help us better understand what gamers want.
Where do you see virtual reality (VR) headed in the future?
This is definitely one of the hottest trends right now. Many vendors are including VR-ready specifications into their machines, but (its) success has a lot to do with how comprehensive the ecosystem is.
Having said that, the proliferation of VR-ready desktops and laptops does open the door for customers to capitalize on the more robust capabilities of these systems and experience the latest that the market has to offer, and is a start toward widening the audience for future VR applications.
Do you see augmented reality (AR) as complementing, or competing with VR?
AR is quite different from VR, and the experiences and interactions they enable serve different purposes. For example, with our Tango-enabled Phab 2 Pro, users can do things like visualize how furniture looks like in their house before buying it. This involves overlaying virtual elements over the real world, and is really more about reimagining the world as we see it, rather than creating new worlds, which VR is more focused on.
As a result, AR has its own unique applications and does not directly encroach on the space carved out by VR. The barriers to adoption are also somewhat lower, as most mobile devices already have AR capabilities of some kind.