TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Gaming and virtual reality (VR) will take the spotlight at Computex 2017, Asia's biggest information and communication technology (ICT) event, Taiwan External Trade Development (TAITRA) President Walter Yeh (葉明水) said Tuesday.
With Computex just around the corner, TAITRA organized a press conference with the biggest names in gaming and virtual reality for media to get a sneak peek of the show, which opens in late May.
According to a Newzoo report Yeh cited, the gaming industry is expected to post 6.6 percent growth from 2015 to 2019. Jon Peddie Research found that the eSports market is expected to reach a value of over US$30.092 billion worldwide by 2018.
Computex said that to tap into this tremendous growth, it was following up its successful gaming and VR exhibition hall from last year with a bigger one this year.
"The eSports market is a combination of all aspects of the eSports ecosystem ... from component parts to PCs to games, the whole ecosystem. This is a key feature area of this year's show," Yeh said on the upcoming trade show.
This year's Computex will show a range of products in the gaming product line — peripheral hardware products and games — and competitions, Yeh said.
These competitions in eSports (competitive gaming), modding (modifying computer hardware) and overclocking (the configuration of computer hardware components to operate faster and better than certified by the original manufacturer) are the newest features of Computex 2017.
Calling Computex the "comprehensive gaming and VR exhibition in the world," Yeh said that 60 gaming-related companies would attend this year's show, including industry giants Asus, Gigabyte, G.Skill, MSI, Thermaltake, Super Micro and NVDIA.
Computex runs from May 30 to June 3 and promises to deliver and in some cases debut new gaming and VR products from industry leaders.
The Newest in eSports
A new trend in gaming hardware is the synchronized RGB LED lighting platform, which enables the PC and other computer peripherals to flash in certain colors to reflect the gamer's condition in the game or the mood of the game.
Last December, Asus' gaming brand Republic of Gamers (ROG) announced its Aura Sync, reportedly the world's first RGB-lighting synchronization feature, ROG's senior director Kris Huang (黃彥超) said at the press conference on Tuesday.
The system allows gamers to "create impressive illumination effects" with nine unique lighting schemes, Asus officials previously said.
Gigabyte's gaming brand Aorus has a similar PC niche product up its sleeve, the RGB Fushion software that allows gamers to individualize their products, Eric Tsai (蔡建民) from Aorus said.
The RGB Fusion Core and the RGB Fusion Ready include "an impressive list of lighting options" that work on motherboards, graphic cards, keyboards and mice, and coolers, according to the listing on Gigabyte's website.
Other gaming-focused computer hardware manufacturers, such as Taiwan-based MSI and G.Skill, will also show products embedded with RGB-lighting technology at Computex, according to MSI's sales director Calvin Huang (莊正雍) and G.Skill's Mark Yu (余大年).
G.Skill announced at the end of last year its Trident Z RGB Series, an RGB lighting DDR4 memory kit, whose uncovered bars "display a rainbow of colors in a wave-style lighting effect" according to the gamers' choices which can be controlled through software.
The Best Technology for the Smoothest Gaming
At the press conference, the computer hardware representatives gave presentations of technologies aimed at giving gamers a more immersive experience.
To enhance immersion, G.Skill has made deep strides in memory speed, with its Double-Data-Rate Fourth Generation (DDR4) memory speed able to reach 4,266 megahertz (MHz).
That's twice as fast as the standard memory speed on the market, which is currently at 2,133 to 2,400 MHz.
Yu told The China Post that the company had actually surpassed 5,000 MHz, but that the speed was not available in current G.Skill products on the market.
Another key component of a smooth gaming experience is computer cooling, an area of expertise for Taiwan-based company Thermaltake.
Alvin Kao (高一功), a product manager at Thermaltake, spoke about his firm's efforts to make radiator fans that were both highly functional and visually appealing.
As a leader in water cooling — a type of computer cooling that employs the flow of water via tubes — Thermaltake recently launched its open frame Core P7 CPU equipped with an RGB water-cooling system.
Another Thermaltake innovation, which the company will showcase at Computex, is the professional, liquid-cooling, eSport system that combines the best of the company's technology, including the Core P5 CPU case, the Pacific water cooling kit, the Toughpower DPS G power supply, and the other Tt eSports peripherals.
Computex 2017 will feature gaming competitions that Yeh said would make the gaming and VR exhibition more comprehensive.
Computer hardware manufacturer and the company behind the ZOTAC Cup, ZOTAC, has partnered with Computex to feature its ZOTAC Cup Masters Dota 2 Tournament final at this year's trade show.
ZOTAC Global Marketing Director Chinny Chuang said regional qualifiers for the tournament begun on March 12, through which six teams — two from Europe, two from Asia, one from China, and one from the Americas — will be selected to compete in the final.
The final will comprise eight teams, with ZOTAC inviting two additional teams that are among the best eSports teams in the world.
Chuang said that after the ZOTAC Cup Masters final, the company will host a VR eSport invitational with HTC, making it the first ever livestreamed VR eSport match.
Can You Mod?
CyberMedia will be holding a modding competition, CyberMods 24hrs, in which teams from Australia, the U.S., the U.K., Thailand, the Philippines and China will have 24 hours to modify computer hardware parts according to a theme.
At Tuesday's event, CyberMedia's Managing Director Fanny Chang (張家芬) showed CPUs being modded into pyramids, Thor's hammer, and even an aquarium as examples of the creative results that can come from modding competitions.
Thermaltake indicated at the press conference that it would announce the winners of its 5th CaseMOD Invitational at Computex.