The gaming industry is a large and competitive one, and MSI is the brand that can attest to that sentiment, especially with the amount of growth and success they've turned in over the last year.
In an exclusive interview with Examiner.com, MSI marketing Specialist, Vincent Chen, and product manager, Cliff Chun, both took sometime to discuss many aspects of their company.
At CES 2013, MSI unveiled their upcoming ultra-book called the Slidebook S20, and Chen said it is one of their up and coming products that caught a lot of people's attention.
"We’re always excited to showoff our game notebooks, but this year we were excited to show off our Slidebook S20. It’s one of our up and coming products.
"It’s considered an ultra-book convertible. It can be a tablet or ultra-book because of the built in keyboard. Converting it is very easy to do.
"The display caught people’s attention with its full HD display touchscreen. It is very clear and the touch screen is very sensitive, which people liked.
"CES was great, it’s always a great time to meet with media and present what’s coming for 2013. People want to know what products are coming," Chen said.
He did say the device is more of a lower-end portable gaming device and that people can do mostly anything while traveling or on the go.
"It’s got high performance for an ultra-book. It utilizes a solid HD graphics card. It is good for a lower-end portable gaming. Even with low settings, you’ll still able to play movies and games.
"You can pretty much game while you’re traveling. This device is more designed to do work on, but some casual gamers will be able to play various titles as well," Chen said.
PCMag did a "Top 10 Best Gaming Laptops" list for all of 2012, and MSI was on the list with scores matching that of rival companies such as Alienware and Samsung.
The company's real players are their GT70 and GT60 series gaming laptops. Either of these versions will provide you with one of the best gaming experiences around.
The GT70 series, which is their top shelf model, features a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680M, a 3rd generation Intel Core processor, DirectX11 graphics, built-in USB 3.0 and Killer Gaming Network- Killer E2200 Intelligent Networking, which helps produce extremely responsive online connections.
The GT60 series, which is a bit more affordable, still features a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680M, a 3rd generation Intel Core processor, DirectX11 graphics, built-in USB 3.0, as well as Killer Gaming Network- Killer E2200 Intelligent Networking.
The price difference between the two models will not be due to major parts missing from one model to the other. MSI has said they use top-of-the-line specs in all of their machines, and that when there is a price decrease, it's mainly because of superficial items like screen size, color or hard drive being different.
Chen said the difference between the two is mainly whether or not a person is looking for a device with all the extra features included.
"The biggest difference between the two really depends on the type of gamer. Are they looking for the one with all the bells and whistles or are they looking for just the top performance without all of that.
"If they want a bit of a more portable experience, then they would probably want to go with the GT60. We try to keep all the features in the GT series the same regardless if you get the 70 or 60.
"We try not to take too much away because the performance factor is more of a concern than anything else. Aside from the obvious differences all the important stuff is in both.
"The graphics cards between the two pretty much run the same. Both can run games on maximum settings just fine. When a new game comes out we try and make sure the title runs fine on both the 60 and 70 series," Chen said.
MSI's GT70 series was featured in this past August's edition of the "Top 5 Gaming Laptops" for PCWorld.
"The hefty MSI GT70 17.3-inch display gaming system will give you good performance with more than five hours of battery life – unprecedented for a gaming laptop," PCWorld raved.
Chen was asked about whether or not the imminence of new video game consoles has any bearing on their businesses, to which he said they are different beasts entirely.
"To be honest, we don’t really look at consoles much because once they are out they stay the same for years, whereas in PC, parts can become obsolete quickly.
"We always try to stay ahead of what’s new and we strive for what’s the best in gaming technology. When new products come out, we make sure our systems have that technology in it," Chen said.
Cliff Chun talked about how quickly the laptop gaming industry has grown over the past three years or so.
"Three years ago, you would never think about playing games on a laptop, but nowadays you could put your device in the highest settings and it’s better than systems.
"Our systems have improved so much. We upgrade every eight or nine months with new parts. You can upgrade the memory. You can go up to 32GB. You can change the storage as well.
"When you play on PCs, the type and power of your device matters when you compete against others online. When you play on consoles, everyone’s systems is the exact same.
"Upgrading is very easy and that is something we made sure was simple for people to do. We will be improving on our graphics and cool system for our next-generation," Chun said.
Chen said the company truly strives to make sure each laptop has the very best tech and specs in them as possible, since that is the best way for any company to grow consumer loyalty.
"When you purchase a product, like something high end, if they’re satisfied with the product, they’re more likely to stay loyal to that brand. We strive to have the best user experience and that’s what it really comes down to for loyalty," Chen said.
Chun talked about how important the performance of a person's system is to PC gamers.
"Console loyalty is more about game loyalty. Exclusive titles are what bring players to certain systems.
"Games have been launching across the board as far as platforms go. In the PC area, people really care about the performance of their device," Chun said.
Chun acknowledged that all gamers like to showoff, and showoff the gear that is their own.
"Gamers like to show off. That’s our thing. I’ve seen guy who built a case for his purple heart on top of his laptop. Everyone likes to do it," Chun said.
Chen also said PC gamers are really into customizing their rigs and MSI tries to be as involved with the gaming community as possible.
"If think in any product, you have a social status as a contributing factor. With PCs you see some people with great setups and rigs. You have people who really get into modifying their specs.
"We try to be more engaging with the gaming community. Running tournaments is important, and we want people to recognize MSI as a gaming company. We’ve had 'StarCraft' and OnLive tournaments. We plan to continue that engagement with the gaming community.
"I feel like the PC community is more critical and is more likely to do research when purchasing a product like a gaming laptop. People are more willing to look at research to compare a product. In 2012 we were ranked as the number two brand in gaming for the year," Chen said.
To quantify MSI's growth and success, Chun said the company has experienced a 100% year-over-year growth in sales.
"We’ve done 100% growth year-over-year. We do a lot of research. We do surveys with true gamers, and their number one priority is performance, followed by things like what their friends are doing.
"We’re going to go the right route to engage with people. We sample our systems so we can focus on making the best gaming systems possible," Chun said.