The fifth of the four kings is here. Redmi is also making a gaming phone. Is it a good business?

This time Redmi has extended its magic claws to the "Black Shark" owned by "Friends" Xiaomi.

After shouting the slogan of "life or death, don't accept it, do it", Redmi relied on the two cards of "cost-effectiveness" and "stacking" to kill the Quartet, and even "play it all by itself".

Not only in the thousands of yuan machine market, Redmi began to aim at the "flagship", the original "flagship" K20 Pro was also dubbed by fans as the true flagship of Xiaomi. Its product line has also been completely expanded, and the price range has also been enriched. Redmi has completely taken over Xiaomi's "cost-effective" mantle.

Redmi is more than that, it will launch game mobile products at the end of the month. Subsequently, Lu Weibing, general manager of the Redmi brand, shared on Weibo the reason, purpose, and goal of Redmi's game mobile phone. In short, it is for the "player", to create the "game main machine" and to penetrate the price bottom line. The Redmi gaming phone has not been released yet, it has been officially announced as the official designated device for "Call of Duty Mobile Games". In the face of the gaming mobile phone market, Redmi is aggressive.

In the new wave of new phones this spring, game phones that were once known as the "niche" have also become the main force of the new phones. The four major game brands of ROG, Red Devils, Black Shark, and Lenovo have launched a new generation of game phones. Coupled with the newly promoted Redmi, it seems to give players more and more choices, more abundant products, and more innovative functions.

But how come gaming phones have become a cake in the eyes of big factories, and why do they all want to be gaming phones?

Where did the gaming phone originate?

When it comes to origins, Nokia will never be absent.

In the world of gaming phones, Nokia N-Gage can be regarded as the oldest "elder" in this clan. N-Gage and N-Gage QD are actually similar in concept to the Game Boy handhelds at that time. There is a larger screen with special buttons (cross). In the current words, it takes special care of the horizontal screen game experience.

▲ Nokia N-Gage and exclusive game "Cassette". Picture from: Reddit

The way the Nokia N-Gage installs the game is also quite similar to that of the current handheld. The "cassette" made of MMC memory card is inserted into the fuselage, but the battery needs to be removed every time it is replaced. At that time, Nokia was in full swing and its appeal was full. Major game makers such as EA, Gameloft, and Ubisoft have all launched "master mobile games" by N-Gage.

Later, N-Gage did not have a second-generation upgrade product, and Nokia also integrated N-Gage into an online store to allow more Nokia mobile phones to use it. The Nokia N81 in 2007 was the first product to support the N-Gage online store, and for the "horizontal screen gaming experience", two separate buttons were designed. However, its styling is no longer radical and conservative.

And the open N-Gage platform failed to recover the decline. One year later, Nokia terminated the online store service. Here are two time points worthy of reference. In 2003, when Nokia N-Gage was launched, Tencent Games was established, and it indirectly contributed to the emergence of modern gaming phones. Three months after the launch of the N-Gage online store, Apple The App Store opened, and the latter is now almost a pivotal service for Apple. These may just be coincidences, but I still want to say that Nokia was the god of the past.

After Nokia, Sony also launched the Xperia Play gaming phone, which uses a sliding cover to run the Android system. Sony wants to use the PlayStation game business to expand its mobile business. Xperia Play has many PlayStation elements, such as the form of handle buttons, and there is also a corresponding online store for downloading games. It's just the same as N-Gage, without the following, and hastily concluded.

Why are modern gaming phones so popular?

No matter the old giant Nokia, or the game giant Sony, they all had a lot of grief on gaming phones, and there was no glory, only feathers. They had a unique concept, used the best hardware at the time, and were radical enough in form, but they lost in the content ecology, that is, the content of the game. At that time, the Internet was not yet formed, and there was no phenomenon-level mobile game. , At that time, playing a game, the threshold is not low, let alone a mobile game for a smaller group of people.

Now with the improvement of the mobile game ecology, the formalization and groupization of the e-sports market, the 4G, 5G, and the vigorous development of the smartphone industry, it is no exaggeration to say that this is almost an era of mobile games for all people.

Competition in the domestic mobile phone market has gradually become fierce and has gradually become a stock market. Manufacturers are pursuing growth and breakthroughs, and they have begun to look for "differentiation" and demand for breakthroughs. The needs for photography, e-sports, and audio-visual are put on the table. Gaming phones have also seen the light of day again.

First came the Black Shark and the Red Devils, then ROG, and Lenovo launched the first generation of gaming phones, top-level configuration, unique shape, better heat dissipation, more buttons, and brought a better gaming experience.

Not only hardware, game mobile phone manufacturers take advantage of mobile games such as "Glory of the King", "Peace Elite", and "Call of Duty", as well as the popularity of KPL, OPL, and PEL e-sports leagues. They are also competing with Tencent and mobile game leagues. , Cooperate with professional e-sports teams to create an "ecology" with game developers, e-sports players, players, and fans.

At the same time, the public’s views on games and e-sports have gradually recognized and accepted from the previous "not doing business properly". Now many universities have opened "e-sports majors". At the same time, e-sports has also begun to become a orthodox large-scale sports event. Gradually grow. As the main social groups gradually become the post-80s and post-90s, the e-sports market is also getting bigger, and the e-sports industry has a brighter future.

According to the "2020 China Game Industry Report" jointly released by the Game Working Committee of the China Music and Digital Association and the China Game Industry Development Research Institute, the revenue of China's e-sports game market has increased from 94.727 billion yuan in 2019 to 136.557 billion yuan in 2020, a year-on-year increase. An increase of 44.16%. In 2020, the number of e-sports game users in China will reach 488 million, an increase of 9.65% year-on-year. The number of users has maintained a steady growth, and the industry still has a lot of room for growth.

It is the good prospects and development space of the e-sports industry that have prompted mobile phone manufacturers, and even traditional PC manufacturers, to start making arrangements in advance. We have seen the innovation of gaming phones in order to get a slice of the emerging market, or even a bite of meat.

Where is the bottleneck of gaming phones?

The game mobile phones that once appeared to compete for "differentiation" are now gradually beginning to show signs of homogeneity. Judging from the new phones released this year, their core specifications are quite similar. Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 SoC is equipped with LPDDR5 and UFS 3.1 flash memory, plus a 1080p high refresh rate screen (144Hz, 165Hz).

This type of Android top configuration can almost play all kinds of mainstream mobile games on the market, and they are more in the details. For example, some linear motors have one more, some RGB lighting effects are more cool, some use physical buttons, and so on. But they are not solving from 0 to 1, from scratch.

Gaming phones are very different from gaming notebooks in the traditional PC industry. Although gaming notebooks appeared in the same niche group, with the continuous increase of gaming groups and continuous market education of brands, gaming notebooks have gradually grown into a branch that cannot be ignored in the notebook industry. This development path is somewhat similar to that of gaming phones.

However, the emergence of gaming laptops has solved the problem of whether games can be played or not. The RGB lighting effects, mechanical keyboard, and cool appearance can only be regarded as "icing on the cake." The core competition of gaming laptops is the hardware specifications, such as CPU, GPU, memory, hard disk and so on. With the pursuit of game realism by game manufacturers, the computing power requirements for hardware specifications will be higher. If you want to play the latest 3A masterpieces more smoothly, you can upgrade at all times to keep up with the pace.

Just like last year's "Cyberpunk 2077", without the latest graphics card, it can't be played smoothly, which indirectly promotes the sales of high-end graphics cards. Looking back now, I only hate that I didn't buy a few more 3070s at that time.

As for gaming phones, everyone uses the same specifications. You can play and I can also play. Even many Android flagship phones are not weak. Gaming phones only solve the "itchiness" of the uncomfortable playing. Not the "pain point" of the PC industry.

For the balance and universality of mobile games, mobile game developers generally do not pursue the "extreme", but take a compromise route, allowing more people and more equipment to run. It seems that there is a big hand in it. Deployment, even if you have a 165Hz high brush, in some mainstream popular mobile games, it may be similar to other flagship phones, and can only open up to 60 frames. From this point of view, the selling points of gaming phones seem to be RGB, buttons, and active cooling.

Furthermore, the form of gaming phones is now leaning towards the "gaming experience", and the attributes of mobile phones are weaker, so thin and light are not compatible with gaming phones. When you are not playing games, those configurations that enhance the gaming experience may become cumbersome. Decrease points for the experience.

In general, the audience for gaming mobile phones is those enthusiastic players. For ordinary people, the attractiveness of buying a phone may not be as high as an "all-around flagship".

Gaming mobile phones are actually more like a small circle in the e-sports industry. Its presence is relatively limited. Unlike the PC industry, it has not yet reached the point where it is closely integrated with mobile game developers.

Major manufacturers have entered the field of gaming phones one after another. While standing in advance, they actually want to continue to expand their user base with the high attention of e-sports among young people.

With the development of e-sports, gaming phones will not disappear like N-Gage and Xperia Play. But judging from the current products, it is difficult for gaming phones to become a category that is deeply rooted in the hearts of the people like "gaming laptops." It may be time for gaming phones to find new "differences" and make their own "differences between 0 and 1".

#Welcome to follow Aifaner's official WeChat account: Aifaner (WeChat ID: ifanr), more exciting content will be provided to you as soon as possible.

Ai Faner | Original link · View comments · Sina Weibo