Tuesday, August 21, 2012

LG, Samsung tapping into games

LG Electronics Germany President Song Ki-ju, right, talks to reporters at the company’s booth during Gamescom 2012 at Koelnmesse, Cologne, Germany, Wednesday. / Courtesy of LG Electronics
Firms forging ties with game industry to boost

LG and Samsung Electronics appear to be forging stronger ties with the world’s game industry in efforts to promote related electronic devices.

The two companies, which participated in Gamescom 2012, showed a much stronger presence in the biggest game trade show, held at Koelnmesse, Cologne, Germany from Thursday to Sunday

As device manufacturers are close in terms of the technological advancement in their respective products, they are attempting to differentiate themselves by strengthening content such as media, software and especially games.

The Korean technology giants also face a revenue decline from Europe due to the ongoing financial crisis and pushing games can be seen as part of marketing efforts to keep consumers interested and offset falling profits as much as possible, according to industry analysts.

“Games can be one feature that companies like Samsung and LG can push to increase content and applications available for their display products to promote sales,” said Jeff Kim, an analyst at Hyundai Securities.

Due to the rise of visual-intensive mobile devices, more and more on-line games are becoming accessible for every platform, making it crucial for LG and Samsung Electronics to acquire as much content as possible.

According to officials from the two firms at the event, they have increased the size of their respective booths vastly over the years.

LG Electronics participated for the second time and is an official sponsor of the trade show. The Yeouido-based firm has supplied over 300 television sets and 100 personal computers to promote the show.

At a meeting with reporters during the event, Song Ki-ju, president of the company’s German office, said that the booth for this year is three times the size of that seen the previous year, and the company plans to “participate every year from now on.”

“Demands for electronics devices are not good due to the crisis, but Germany is relatively solid compared to other countries (in Europe),” he said. “There are 25 million gamers in Germany, and we want to be recognized as a Gamescom partner.”

In the booth, the company’s recently released Cinema 3D TV and related television products got the biggest promotion. A mini-theater that can hold up to 500 people with a three dimensional television continued to play game trailers.

The firms IPS (In-Plane Switching) monitors were also placed at stands, and the largest one was used to host mini-tournaments in which around 50 people gathered around to participate in and cheer.

LG’s professional e-sports team LG IM (Incredible Miracle) was also present and participated in events, further enforcing the image of LG Electronics as a supporter of games.

Most booths at the exhibition featured televisions and computer screens. However, high quality games, which are becoming available for use on all touch-screen devices, were also highlighted. LG touted its high-end smartphone Optimus 4X HD, while its rival displayed its Galaxy series.

Samsung Electronics, which is pushing LED (light emitting diode) screens and Internet wired Smart TVs (which has the game Angry Birds pre-installed), also increased the size of its booth three times from the previous year, according to employees. This is the third consecutive time that the firm has taken part in the trade show.

Models of the Suwon-based company’s Series 7 Gamer Yellow 3D Refresh, a note book optimized for playing games, were placed around the booth in large numbers.

Though Samsung far outsells its rival in terms of mobile devices, in television sales, the gap between the two is less dramatic. LG’s televisions have been selling strongly in both the United States and Europe. Along with the firm’s home appliance division, strong television sales are keeping earnings solid despite the company’s current difficulties in trailing behind Samsung in visual-intensive devices.

Source: The Korea Times

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