There is no such thing as a gaming phone yet: Dell

Mirza Mohammed Ali Khan | | Updated on: Mar 24, 2019

Frank Azor, Vice President and General Manager, Alienware, Dell Gaming and XPS


Personal computer (PC) maker Dell on Monday launched three new gaming laptops in India - Area 51m, m15 and G7 in India.

In an interview with BusinessLine, Frank Azor, Vice President and General Manager, Alienware, Dell Gaming and XPS tells us more about the industry and its plans of entering the mobile gaming arena. Alienware, which was acquired by Dell in 2006. Excerpts : -

Tell us about the newly launched products.

We are looking at going thin and light in our portfolio. That was the catalyst for the Area 51m. We challenged ourselves to build upgradable graphics in a notebook, making the memory and storage upgradable– all in a package that wouldn’t compromise on performance, but in a relatively optimised form factor.

Could you tell us more about the changes in the gaming industry?

When we started off, people bought gaming devices to serve a dedicated purpose. Since then, the performance of notebooks has improved and has allowed games to be played on them. It has created this demand for notebook products that aren’t only dedicated gaming products, but also practical and efficient “everyday-use” devices. That’s where we see a lot of thin and light demand beginning to emerge from.

The Indian gaming industry is poised to grow over $1 billion by 2020. How have you fared so far in India?

We have a fair share in the industry. But our focus is on growing the gaming market. The reason we have been in India as long as we have is because we helped that market grow and make gaming more accessible. If we try to focus on capturing a 100 per cent of the market, all we would be doing is choking the market from further growth.

Going forward, what are the new innovations you’re bringing in your products?

Our design has set the direction for the PC gaming industry over the last 22 years. The Area 51m is the most powerful notebook in the market. With Alienware m17 (not available in India) and Alienware m15, we don’t throttle the CPU, for example. We operate it at its full TDP at 45W. We will continue similar innovations.

For the last two decades, software has been an enabler of the hardware. About a year ago, we revealed that software would be playing a more central role in the platform of our gaming systems. We are developing (software) features to make our systems more powerful, capable and dynamic. We will continue to push the limits on design, performance and software innovation.

E-sports is also seeing a lot of global recognition- the Asian Games had it during its last edition. Do you think it will get into such global arenas?

I think we will see it as an Olympic sport in the next couple of Olympic Games. It is going to take a while but there are conversations taking place.

Where does your console business stand today and what are your future plans?

At present, we have no intentions of getting into the console market. We built a console device a few years ago and have learnt a lot from that experiment. We are not planning to go back into that category again. We are supporting X-Box games on our notebooks and desktops. Customers can play select X-Box One titles on our devices.

What is your perspective on the mobile gaming industry?

We embrace all forms of gaming — tablet, smartphone, consoles. We want people playing games because they are a great unifier. If people can find an easy entry with low friction, eventually that may grow into console gaming and PC gaming and we have seen that.

So, can we expect to see a gaming phone from Alienware?

No. We are not interested in building a gaming phone at present . My personal opinion is there is no such thing as a gaming phone that has been introduced in the market by anybody. We look at gaming devices as being primarily designed for gamers, not for other capabilities with gaming gimmicks and added features to try and fool gamers. If and when we find an opportunity to legitimately design and define a designed-for-gamers phone, then maybe we will pursue that.

Published on March 19, 2019
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