Logitech has big plans for eSports and gaming
By Ajith Ram September 29, 2016
- Heavy testing required for gaming peripherals
- No immediate plans to get into virtual reality
THE world identifies Switzerland with precision watches, chocolates, skiing and banking. But how about PC peripherals such as keyboards and mice.?
Believe it or not, one of the world's largest PC peripheral manufacturer, Logitech, is based in Europe's playground. Moving on from basic keyboards and mice, Logitech is now making major foray into the world of PC games.
DNA recently interviewed Max Pan, Senior Category Manager for Gaming at Logitech Asia Pacific. In this role, Max oversees the product portfolio, product launch and go-to-market strategy for Logitech's gaming business in the Asia Pacific region. Max joined Logitech in 2011 as the Category Manager for Gaming in China and took up the regional category management role from 2014.
DNA: The Logitech Prodigy series is said to cater to the casual gamer. In what way do the products scale towards the casual audience? Does this mean that keyboards, for instance, will not feature complex macro commands that hardcore gamers would use or the mouse would not be as super accurate as one for a hardcore gamer?
Max Pan: Our new Prodigy series is a family of gaming gear made exclusively for everyone. They are designed to enhance the way you play. We believe there are a lot of gamers that want access to the best technologies to allow them to play their best. Prodigy offers great performance in an uncomplicated form, providing the user with a great gaming experience.
DNA: The approach taken is so far towards the three most commonly used hardware components a PC gamer would need - a keyboard, mouse and headset. What about a gamepad, ala the Xbox360 wireless controller variety? Are there plans to add gamepads to the mix too?
Max Pan: Our goal with the Prodigy series is to make a suite of products that appeals to gamers of all types, whether you are an eSports pro, someone that loves to program your own macros or someone looking for something that just enhances your gameplay. However, with the addition of the Prodigy line, we also have products for every skill level and ability, from the casual player to the professional. Speaking of gamepads, we have the F710 wireless gamepad and F310 gamepad designed for PC gamers who are looking for an advanced console-style controller.
As for adding gamepads to the mix, we will not be able to comment on this for now. However, if there are any updates, we will share them officially with you.
DNA: Would the Logitech G231 Prodigy Gaming headset take advantage of any technology derived from the Ultimate Ears series of headphones?
The Logitech G231 Prodigy gaming headset does not include the technology used in the Ultimate Ears series of headphones. The G231 uses 40mm neodymium drivers that produce high quality stereo sound that keeps users immersed in their PC or console game from start to finish.
DNA: Logitech recently acquired Saitek. What improvements do you expect as a result of this acquisition?
Logitech is in a strong cash position and has already communicated our openness to consider small to medium-sized tuck-in acquisitions that fit well with our existing capabilities, build our capabilities in new areas and accelerate our entry into new or adjacent markets.
The Saitek product line complements Logitech’s market-leading portfolio of Logitech G gaming products, including simulation products like our G29 and G920 Driving Force steering wheels and expands our leadership position at a very exciting time for gaming. This asset acquisition is not considered material to Logitech’s quarterly or full-year financial results.
DNA: There are a number of players like Razer in the gaming peripheral market. What does Logitech bring to the table compared to the others?
Referring to the Logitech Prodigy series, the G213 Prodigy RGB Gaming Keyboard delivers optimal gaming performance. It features customisable RGB lighting, keys built specifically for the way gamers play and dedicated media controls. It is also faster than competitive solutions. It boasts a report rate that is up to four times faster than standard keyboards. Report rate is the speed at which the keyboard sends information to the system. Standard keyboards send information at 125Hz (8ms), while the G213 Prodigy sends information at 500Hz (2ms).
DNA: eSports is predicted to boom in the coming years. What plans do you have for this sector?
Logitech Malaysia is an active participant in the eSports community. We recently announced a partnership with Garena and support the national League of Legends team, the Kuala Lumpur Hunters. As part of the sponsorship, the Kuala Lumpur Hunters hand-picked the Logitech G900 and Logitech G810 as their weapon of choice for current battles to bring home victory for the country.
As our slogan of ‘game with passion, win with science’ suggests, we have been relentlessly pursuing research and development for over 30 years. The Logitech research and development (R&D) team constantly go back to the drawing board to improve how the human hand interacts with these products, particularly the mice and keyboards while gaming.
Our Logitech G keyboard has been made to last. During the testing phase, we introduced infrared technology to identify key textile zones, and each of these textiles are classified into separate placements on the devices to match the position of a gamers hand. For each of these zones, different specialised material was applied to help improve comfort, control and durability.
Marathon gaming involves heat and sweat, which is the reason for durable hydrophobic coating on both mice and keyboard, to prevent the palm from sticking to the surface. As such, the Logitech G810 Orion Spectrum offers a pure gaming experience. The Romer-G mechanical key switches and customisable RGB lighting with over 16.8 million colours made it a hit when it was launched.
For Logitech worldwide, we have been proactively partnering with world’s best eSports teams, such as TSM and Cloud9 from north America, iG and RNG from the Chinese league, DetonatioN in Japan, the Chiefs in Oceanic Pro League based in Australia and the list goes on. We also sponsored many league events including ESL One, China League of Legend Pro League, etc. Logitech is dedicated to helping the gamers to improve their performance.
DNA: Do you have any plans to expand beyond the gaming peripheral market into complete systems or VR devices?
At the moment, we are focused on continuously advancing our current offerings. This also includes developing products that can contribute to casual users as well as hardcore and pro gamers. You also have heard that we had just acquired Saitek simulation controllers to expand our portfolio. As for expanding beyond gaming peripherals or VR devices, unfortunately I cannot talk about future products. We will be in touch with you with our plans once they are official.