In an interview with our sister site Tom's Guide, Acer CEO Jason Chen spoke candidly about a range of industry topics and the company's interests and pursuits therein, but his comments on gaming stuck out as particularly noteworthy.
When asked if Acer was going to use gaming laptops as a way to introduce new design concepts that may trickle down to other devices, Chen answered the question by pivoting a bit and speaking frankly about what Acer needs to do on the gaming front.
"When I was talking to our product line president for the gaming area, I told him we need a different team," Chen said. "We can't assume that a higher-end graphics notebook equals a gaming machine. It's not."
Chen continued, "People who use gaming computers are a different group of people. Different thinking, different perspectives, different requirements. We can't assume that higher-end, bigger configuration is different, and therefore, we have different design and considerations."
Jason Chen clearly "gets it," which is reason enough to get a bit excited about what Acer might end up doing in the gaming space in terms of gaming notebooks and pre-built desktops, but there's more.
He used the term "casual gaming" in reference to Acer's current gaming system offerings, such as the Acer Aspire V Nitro gaming laptop, which is curious. The Aspire V Nitro is no slouch in terms of specs; it sports 4th- or 5th-gen Intel Core CPUs, up to an Nvidia 860M GPU, up to a 1 TB HDD/256 GB SSD storage configuration, and a 15- or 17-inch Full HD display. There's also a 2x2 MIMO wireless solution on board, as well as four (four!) 2 W Dolby speakers.
So what's "casual" about that? His point was that high-end specs are not enough. Acer is going to be drilling down to the minutiae of what makes a good gaming system work, looking at aspects of the build such as key travel and backlighting.
For now, Chen indicated that Acer is focusing on building a new gaming notebook (or series of gaming notebooks?), but eventually the company will be focusing this level of rigor and attention to detail on desktop gaming rigs and even tablets.
The timeline for all of the above, unfortunately, remains known only to Chen and the Acer brass. "Once we're ready [to break into the hardcore gaming market], we'll talk to you about that, but we're taking it step by step," he said.
Acer sees three growth markets on the PC side of things; one is, unsurprisingly, Chromebooks. Another is the 2-in-1 market, which will be bolstered by new devices running Intel's Core M chips. (As we've noted before, Core M processors are designed to enable impressively thin and light designs with no fans, all while improving battery life and performance.)
The third PC market growth segment Acer is focused on is gaming, and it's clear from Chen's comments that Acer will be putting the work in to make sure it gets gaming products right.
Updated 10:44am PST October 24 to include photo of Acer CEO Jason Chen.
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I like the sound of a lot of this, but I remain sceptical due to Acer's history of building crap computers.
The most important thing to me is cooling and consistent performance. What good is the best specs money can buy if it's cooled by a single low-speed fan and the cheapest thermal compound available? Maximize your cooling potential and keep the gamers happy that they won't have to worry about frying their hardware or experiencing thermal throttling! Seriously, cooling is one thing so many manufacturers and models struggle with, if you can get that right, you'll get a ton of new customers when the word gets out that you've built a stable, cool gaming laptop!
Yes. That's the whole point of the article.
Holy cow. That's an awesome idea. Can someone please, please do a mod that does that?!