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Gaming-specific smartphones are projected to reach 1.8 percent of the total smartphone shipments in the India Smartphone Market by end-2018, and possibly reach 6.5 percent by 2021, CMR said in a "Voice of the Youth" survey.
"Given the technological advances, smartphone companies are now in a better position to bet on improving the mobile gaming experience, through features like HDR and high refresh rate screens that render more smoother on-screen visuals. While a majority of the smartphones in the market support mobile gaming, the rise of graphically intensive games like Fortnite and PUBG Mobile is making smartphone manufacturers take note and cater to the demand," said Prabhu Ram, Head, Industry Intelligence Group, CMR.
CMR said that the demand for better smartphone hardware to cater to highly advanced mobile gaming is even attracting PC gaming manufacturers such as Razer and ASUS.
The new survey has pointed to smartphone emerging as the primary device for gaming, preferred by 90 percent of millennials and Gen-Z, overshadowing gaming PCs and other device forms.
"With the increasing demand for mobile gaming by millennials, the gaming smartphone industry is set to explode with new growth opportunities for not just traditional smartphone vendors, but new entrants, such as gaming PC manufacturers. This also translates into a significant opportunity for mobile gaming development companies to generate new gaming content", Amit Sharma, Analyst, Industry Intelligence Group, CMR, said.
Internal estimates by CMR points to a significant spike in mobile gaming users with expectations that they will cross 748 million by 2021.
"The new breed of smartphone gaming devices will mainly garner attention from gaming enthusiasts. Serious gamers, who traditionally prefer gaming PCs, will find the features like high refresh rate contributing to a better experience, as good incentive to play on the go," Ram added.
As mobile vendors look to offer new gaming smartphones, chipset vendors such as Qualcomm and MediaTek are also offering new chipsets such as Qualcomm Snapdragon 675, or the Helio P70, to offer enhanced mobile gaming experience.
The gaming smartphones, in addition to offering all the gaming functionalities, should also be capable of performing all other regular functions, including delivering enhanced camera experience to attract users in a hyper-competitive market. "As such, the challenge for dedicated gaming smartphone brands is high," CMR added.