Features

Lenovo sees gaming, VR and AR as ‘big part of future’

Spider-Man VR game up next after Jedi Challenges?

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We see gaming as a critical part of our growth. AR and VR are going to be a big part of our future.”

These were words spoken by Lenovo Asia Pacific Chief Marketing Officer Nick Reynolds during a media group discussion at the sidelines of the Lenovo Legion of Champions Series II tournament in Bangkok, Thailand.

Reynolds spoke enthusiastically about developing more augmented and virtual reality-related products that will not intimidate the casual consumer. If we look at the Jedi Challenges AR game launched in 2017, they appear to be on the right track.

For the unfamiliar, Jedi Challenges puts an exact replica of the lightsaber on your hand and with the headset, the beacon, and an app, pits you against Star Wars villains. Yes, it’s as awesome as it sounds.

Nick Reynolds and Ivan Cheung of Lenovo pose after their media interviews

Reynolds, along with Lenovo Regional General Manager of Central Asia Pacific Ivan Cheung, highlighted the company’s existing partnership with Disney and all the other properties under the entertainment giant. The possibilities are endless.

Spider-Man VR Game?

One big property that Reynolds and Cheung mentioned is Marvel and its huge roster of superheroes. First one that the two talked about potentially making it into an AR or VR game is your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.

But how will that work? How does it tie in to making AR and VR accessible to more people?

Reynolds detailed how with Jedi Challenges, you already have an avenue for new content. “If you think about the Star Wars: Jedi Challenges, the headset and the beacon… that’s a platform, and that platform will allow all sorts of content to be accessed.”

“Does it have a life beyond this one game? The answer is strongly yes because it’s a platform that you’ll be able to have other experiences on with Disney content,” he added.

This is all theory and possibilities at this point, but Cheung says if enough people ask, Lenovo and Disney might just work on it.

“We welcome feedback from you [and the community], if the [Spider-Man] game actually happened, I myself, would be very excited,” said Cheung.

“If you use your imagination, it’s very easy to build a new app that you download on your phone that can deliver new content to the Mirage platform,” added Reynolds.

So if you want to know what it’s like to be a web-slinger, I would hound Lenovo right now to get started on producing the game.

More quality content needed

However, Reynolds noted that for AR and VR to truly thrive, there needs to be more quality content that’s meant not just for gamers.

“What’s going to wow people to buy it is being at Madison Square Garden sitting at courtside or ringside to watch a game or match,” said Reynolds.

The Chief Marketing Officer noted how it can be possible to watch live NBA games and “switch seats” at your whim. Like pay-per-view but on steroids. Imaginative applications like these are what’s needed to get AR and VR more mainstream acceptance.

Reynolds also shared how one of their influencers, who is an underwater photographer, is able to better relate that experience to viewers via VR. He said, “This content is viewable on YouTube, but it’s only truly immersive when you have the headset.”

Legion direction

Lenovo recognizes that its playing catch-up with its year-old sub-gaming brand Legion. However, they are confident they can close the gap with their approach.

Instead of appealing only to long-time and hardcore gamers, Legion wants to be a brand friendly to those just getting into gaming. They’re also developing products by directly communicating with the gaming community.

“We believe that working closer together with a bigger community actually will help us expand and advance in the overall PC gaming market in the region,” said Cheung.

They hope to achieve this closer relationship with the gaming community by hosting various gaming events and building “Legion experience zones” where customers can get a feel for their product portfolio and give feedback right away.

Lenovo Asia Pacific Manager Gregory Beh highlighted this approach as he introduced the anniversary edition of the Legion Y520 — their entry-level gaming machine.

Lenovo Philippines influencer Ashley Gosiengfiao using the Legion Y520 black and gold anniversary edition

Beh says this collaboration with the community will result in a big project that’s been 18 months in the making, which he says will be “better than our competitors. It’ll be groundbreaking and radical. Not just within Lenovo but also across other gaming vendors.”

He was tight-lipped as to what the project is exactly about but hinted at both a new product and partnership with a major eSports title.

Lenovo Asia Pacific Manager Gregory Beh speaking to media

In a separate session, Reynolds also mentioned producing a line of gaming notebooks that you could “take to the office with you.”

Looking around the media group, he pointed out how no one was working on a gaming laptop because it just doesn’t look well in a more formal setup. Reynolds believes everyone would love a gaming laptop but some aren’t too happy with how they currently look.

Whether or not these upcoming machines are part of the 18-month project that Beh teased remains to be seen. One thing’s for sure: There’s plenty to get excited about as the Legion enters a new phase.

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