The persisting slowdown in personal computer (PC) market notwithstanding, gaming PCs and laptops are proving to be a growth driving segment to help laptop makers overcome gloom and doom of the Indian PC market. A considerable price drop over the last few years and their growing demand among non-professional gamers have helped gaming laptops see spurt in sales from 40,000 units in 2016 to one million devices now.

“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.

More absorbing experience helps PC gaming grow

For long, India was seen as a potential mobile gaming market. However, gaming enthusiasts switching over from on the move devices to PC gaming, for a more absorbing experience has triggered latter’s growth.

“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. 

Gamers now more keen on tech specifications

Arnold Su, Business head, consumer and gaming PC, System business group, 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 boom in gaming market is also leading to job opportunities. A recent study by the E-Gaming Federation, the organisation representing skill-based gaming industry, and the Indian Statistical Institute showed that 73 per cent of respondents expressing a strong interest in pursuing careers in the sector. Malay Kumar Shukla, Secretary of the E-Gaming Federation says, “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 is poised to increasingly challenge the traditional console gaming market in India.”