The monitor vendor is using gaming and lifestyle products to raise its brand profile in the region
For BenQ’s business manager Mohammed Javeed, the late night Counter-Strike tournament involving legendary players, Emil “HeatoN” Christensen and Abdisamad “SpawN” Mohamed, at Que Club Dubai on 21 May represents the culmination of the effort by the parent company to roll out the most advanced gaming monitor.
While carrying the corporate tag line, “provider of networked digital lifestyle devices”, the current promotional focus of the company is the professional monitor segment. This is the segment that caters to aspiring gamers and entertainment users, and the segment that Javed points out is the fastest growing in the developed economies. Even in the Gulf, the gaming market is expected to play a vital role in BenQ’s regional growth. “In the Middle East and Africa region, we see a huge potential for technology that takes the gaming experience to a new level”, clarifies Manish Bakshi, BenQ’s General Manager for Middle East and Africa.
BenQ’s efforts to accelerate growth and uptake of this product segment led them to approach European game vendor, Zowie Gear to help them develop the ultimate gaming monitor. The Counter-Strike duo team of “HeatoN” and “SpawN” worked with BenQ’s prototype development team in Taiwan and helped develop the near-perfect gaming monitor. The rest can now go down in history. “HeatoN” and “SpawN” can look back at their early years when they spent close to half their waking life playing Counter-Strike, culminating in the final roll out of BenQ’s XL 2410T, advanced gaming monitor.
The development of this advanced gaming monitor could also have been done by BenQ’s research and development department, “but it was their experience that was translated into a product”, asserts Javed.
Other than the professional monitor segment for the gaming and lifestyle community, BenQ segments the remaining market opportunity into three other product segments, The lowest end is the essential monitor segment, which is directed at home and small office users and is a price conscious segment. The other two segments are the corporate and high-end monitor segments, the latter being used for medical, engineering, industrial and graphic applications. While the corporate market is dominated by laptops, docking stations with large screen monitors also proliferate in parallel and are reason for the vendor’s optimism in this market segment. In total, the regional market is segmented into four product opportunities.
For sales and distribution across the UAE, BenQ is using Trigon LLC, which also distributes other leading consumer brands Viewsonic, LG, Samsung and Creative. Business development for the essential monitor series is done by Trigon’s reseller partners. For the other three segments namely professional, corporate and high end monitors, vendor BenQ takes a more proactive role. For the professional monitor segment it takes the lead in organizing gaming road shows similar to the one at Que Club. However engagements with power retailers for supply of products and price-volume negotiation, is left to Trigon, which is better suited in this role than BenQ.
For the corporate and high-end monitor products, BenQ’s role is in lead generation and marketing. However once relationships have been initiated the sales follow up is handed over to Trigon. The distributor uses its fifteen-odd channel partners to finalize relationships with corporate and high-end customers. With early success in the gaming and lifestyle product segments, it remains to be seen what BenQ’s next move will be in other product segments.
Most advanced gaming monitor: how it was done
Way back in 1999, Emil Christensen played the famous desktop game, Counter-Strike for 8 hours a day. As gaming technology improved, so did his intention to keep winning and he turned professional. He played for 15 hours at a stretch, every day for seven years.
Along with his workplace colleague Abdisamad Mohamed, they are now Counter-Strikes legendary players, “HeatoN” and “SpawN”. When BenQ approached Zowie, their Swedish gaming accessory employer to help develop the best gaming monitor that technology can provide, “HeatoN” and “SpawN” were ideal choices to participate in its product development. The list of parameters to be incorporated in BenQ’s monitor rolled out pretty fast, when the duo and their friends sat down to mull it over. “It was spot-on”, recalls Christensen. After BenQ’s factory rolled out the prototype, the duo travelled to Taiwan to test the model. At site they went through more iteration, during which they struggled with bugs and balancing colour palettes. But their efforts have now paid off for both vendor and gaming community. For Christensen who all along preferred playing on his ancient CRT monitor and seldom played on a LED monitor, BenQ’s latest gaming monitor is now his best.
Specifications: The shooting game mode of the 24.60 inch LED monitor from BenQ was hands-on developed by “HeatoN” and “SpawN”. A smart scaling, hot key button allows gamers to switch between four viewing modes enhancing close ups or wide angle views. The backlit LED screen has a refresh rate of 120 Hz or 120 times every second using hyper speed video processing technology. Further each pixel has glow duration of 2 milli seconds, implying there is no residual glow when the refresh signal comes back. This makes for ultra-sharp movements across the screen. The monitor allows two independent video feeds to display at the same time and is Nvidia 3D vision ready. The XL 2410T is priced at $490 across the UAE.
When black is not black!
One of the key effort by the gaming duo was to ensure the enemy is visible in the shadows. In other words the enemy colour was calibrated as black while the shadows in which he lurks as near-black. As the enemy lunges out of the corner, “HeatoN” and “SpawN” made sure the rest of the gaming community can spot him (see bottom pix).
“In the Middle East and Africa region, we see a huge potential for technology that takes the gaming experience to a new level” – Manish Bakshi, BenQ General Manager, Middle East and Africa