The annual iteration of AMD GameOn, initiated since 2018 as a part of Comic Con Hyderabad, returned with a good sequel. Once again the engineers of AMD India Radeon Technology Group proved their talent and prowess with the successful execution of GameOn 2019. Organized at Hitex Exhibition Center during 12th-13th October, it retained the major crowd puller stature in the technology and gaming category.
With a substantial amount of tweaks and new attractions featured in the event, I personally had a splendid time exploring them yet again. Being a gaming enthusiast, I had fun sniping people in Hitman 2 on a powerful AMD Ryzen build.
The funniest part was, I also managed to trick the AMD staff, to allow me playing Tom Clancy’s: The Division 2 for more than 30 minutes in the free-play zone (It was turn-based and participants were allowed to play only for 10 minutes!). Hence, please do connect with me, if you also want to do the same in AMD GameOn 2020.
Nevertheless, cutting to the chase, feel free to go through an elucidated version of happenings and key-takeaways from the event, as you explore further in this article.
The Red Energy This Year
In the first quarter of 2k19, AMD revealed its lineup of 7nm CPUs (Central Processing Unit) and GPUs (Graphics Processing Unit). With the new developments, the semi-conductor giant has gained huge traction in both the CPU and GPU market shares, as of the previous quarter.
According to a recent survey by WCCFtech, the Ryzen family of processors remain the most popular CPU brand by choice.
Whilst in the GPU segment (both discrete and integrated), the firm is trying its best to challenge its competitors. As per a recent report by John Peddie Research, AMD has garnered a steady improvement in the overall GPU market shares.
Likewise, it was a delight to witness the power of the newly introduced 3rd Gen Ryzen CPUs and the Radeon Navi GPUs, that were primarily showcased in AMD GameOn 2019.
Key Highlights & Facts
Let’s wrap up some important details so that we can quickly get into the new add-ons and exclusive press-conference content! Feel free to go through the highlights of AMD GameOn 2019 as mentioned below!
#1 With the key-organizing and eSports partner as PlayMax yet again, the returning sponsors were Sony PlayStation, HTC Vive & MDComputers. Samsung happened to be a new and major sponsor for the first time in AMD GameOn.
#2 Unlike last time, AMD GameOn 2019 rather had three key-note intellectuals namely, Jayesh Ranjan (IT Secretary, Telangana), Andrej Zdravkovic (Corporate VP, Software Development & Management, AMD) & Joel Reifman (Hyderabad U.S. Consul General).
#3 AMD now has four offices spanning across major IT hubs in India. The centers in Hyderabad and Bangalore are collectively into research and development with the former also having a sales unit. On the other hand, the offices in Mumbai and Gurgaon facilitate sales operations.
#4 GameOn 2019 witnessed a footfall of more than 40,000 people, as claimed by the company.
#5 The event saw more than 56 teams and over 600 solo registrations for its eSports tournaments based on CS:GO, Dota 2, PUBG and Fortnite. The total prize pool happened to be INR 20 lakhs.
#6 There happened to be a raffle draw as well, where the winner got the privilege to take home a monstrous gaming rig powered by AMD Ryzen 7 3700X and Radeon RX 5700XT.
#7 The audience got to witness stunning games like Tom Clancy’s Divison 2, Stranger Brigade, Ghost Recon Breakpoint, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, F1 2019, Hitman 2, and much more, in the Free-Play Zone.
#8 The AMD Recruitment Booth made a comeback, with more than 200 candidates who registered for exciting career opportunities in AMD.
The Nova Eye-Candy
Now let’s get into some of the new add-ons showcased this year, that intrigued me along with most of the people.
Gaming On The Cloud
Google Stadia recently revealed the list of countries, where users can avail its game streaming services. Unfortunately, India couldn’t make it probably due to infrastructural problems. However, AMD being a direct hardware partner of Google Stadia, took the responsibility of showcasing the power of Cloud Gaming in GameOn 2019.
Engineers from AMD RTG Hyderabad, calibrated their office servers to facilitate cloud gaming by allocating their GPU and CPU computing resources to the virtual workstations set up in the event.
In simple words, with this technology, one can witness high-end gaming, on even a low specs PC at any corner of the world. The only catch is, one needs a stable high-speed internet connection.
The only catch is, one needs a stable high-speed internet connection.
The Flamboyant Samsung Booth
The recent announcement of a deal between Samsung and AMD was something bold and unexpected. The former revealed plans of incorporating AMD RDNA graphics processors in its smartphones by 2021, as a strategic move to compete in the mobile gaming market.
To capitalize on this fact, AMD India partnered with Samsung for the first time in GameOn. The flamboyant booth setup by latter spoke for its long-term business plans with the semiconductor giant.
The primary products on showcase were the 144Hz curved QLED (Quantum Dot) gaming monitors. The people flocking to the booth including me were captivated by the butter smooth lag-free performance on such screens.
AMD Link On TV
In the previous year, AMD Link was a premier showcase in the tech booth. In fact, you may check our event coverage from last year to gain further information. But the following year, a new additional feature was exhibited.
One can now hook AMD Link to their Android or Apple TV to stream content from their AMD rig.
Mixed Reality & VR On APU
One of the booths in the AMD Tech zone featured Windows Mixed Reality & VR powered by an AMD APU (Accelerated Processing Unit) running on a notebook! It was a Lenovo Ideapad powered by an AMD Ryzen 7 2700U featuring integrated Radeon RX Vega 10 graphics.
With a Windows Mixed Reality headset hooked to the notebook, people were able to experience both stunning VR & MR content.
It was astonishing to see an APU capable of processing such level of VR workloads to render jaw-dropping visuals. Mixed Reality, unlike Virtual & Augmented Reality, is a combination of both, where users can interact with virtual objects and furthermore anchor them with real-world objects.
For instance, if you see a virtual ball, you can witness it bouncing off the floors and walls of your real-world house, when you start playing with it.
Yeah, there were a few upsets too as per my observations.
Shoutcasting = “LowEnergy”
No offense there but to be frank, the shoutcasting for eSports tourneys in the event could have been much better. Many teams across India had registered for the same, and people were spectating their gameplay both online and offline.
Shoutcasting plays the biggest role in any eSports match for engaging the audience. If it’s not done properly, then we all know the outcome.
sonyBooth_Downgrade = “Upset”
It was sad to see the lackluster of the Sony PlayStation Booth this year. Although Hideo Kojima’s Death Stranding, was the major promotional highlight, there were a relatively few PlayStation units for user experience. In the previous GameOn however, the booth happened to be a major attraction with many games for single-player experience, and players flooding in for the FIFA 18 tournament.
Although it’s not AMD’s fault, there are a few speculating reasons for lack of energy from Sony India this time. Could it be direct orders from Sony’s HQ for exclusive Death Stranding promotion? Or could it be because of the upcoming PS5 launch? There are rumors about the console surfacing in the last quarter of 2020.
If that’s the case, maybe they could have reduced the marketing budget for PS4. Whatever the reason could be, I am not completely against Sony India’s exhibition this time. The participants flocking there still had fun playing some of the new titles.
The Exclusive Press Conference
It was a great opportunity for me to represent Tech Legends in the AMD GameOn Press Conference. Various media publications got the opportunity to interact with the key individuals Jayesh Ranjan, Andrej Zdravkovic and Joel Reifman.
I asked a few questions to Andrej, which was a privilege. The honorary spokesperson, answered them with great patience and interest, as mentioned below.
Amlan: Hello Sir Andrej, greetings! So, AMD is definitely on a roll, and it’s evident from this GameOn itself. Without a shadow of doubt, the firm is giving a tough competition to Intel in the desktop and mobile CPU segment. In terms of gaming, both AMD GPUs and APUs, have gained a good market share. But what is AMD’s take on the trending Deep Learning & AI technology domain?
Andrej: Thank you. Yes, that’s a relatively new and challenging field for us even. Our engineers are working their best to deliver products tailor-made for such type of HPC Computing. The lineup of AMD EPYC CPUs and Radeon Instinct GPUs (MI50, MI60, MI8) are in fact especially developed and optimized for training and deep learning inference.
Amlan: Frankly, that was something new and cool to learn about AMD. Nevertheless, how is AMD’s popularity in the Indian AI industry? Is AMD delivering AI & HPC solutions at an enterprise-level?
Andrej: Honestly speaking, we are yet to establish a strong foothold and we will definitely get there. Our HPC products are yet to become mainstream in India, but there has been some steady demand.
Amlan: Nvidia has gained a lot of popularity by branding its software stack along with its GPUs for accelerated computing. The company has established a good connect with the Deep Learning community in India. Similarly, how does AMD plan to promote its GPU Open initiative?
Andrej: Well that’s a good one! The GPU Open Initiative is something we came up in 2016, to deliver Open Source computing solutions and hence reach out to a bigger community. We allow the flexibility of running our ROCm (Radeon Open Compute) software stack even on competition platforms for HPC and AI computational needs. In fact, I already mentioned about Radeon Instinct GPUs like MI50, MI60, etc. earlier. The ROCm open ecosystem also comes with Instinct optimized MIOpen libraries supporting some of the popular deep learning frameworks. Hence, extensive and continuous research work is going on to develop such libraries for PyTorch, Tensorflow and Caffe. Hopefully, our open-source approach becomes popular in the Indian community as well.
And that was all we talked about! From a questionnaire, it rather turned out to be an amazing technical conversation. On behalf of Tech Legends, I thank Andrej for sharing his valuable insight with us.
A Valuable Feedback From Community For Team Red
While GameOn seems to be a good initiative for AMD to establish a community stronghold amongst gamers in India, there certainly is room for improvement always. Here are a few suggestions from me and some peers.
#1 AMD GameOn also needs to go beyond Hyderabad. It doesn’t have to be of a very big scale but a series of small community activties will also do. The media publications and social shares associated with one major event may leave a good online impression. But by ‘word of mouth’ they can reach out to a far more quantitative and qualitative audience.
#2 “AMD can conduct annualized online eSports cups and infact small tourneys. This will help them to gain a boost in the eSports and game streaming communities in India”, as suggested by Abhii Jha (Owner & Content Creator) from GaminMadness.
#3 Ankush Das from Tech Legends quoted, “Ryzen processors are doing great and the laptop consumer base is growing. AMD should also focus on launching more Ryzen powered notebooks to gain more popularity.”
#4 It’s high time, Team Red should also conduct developer-oriented workshops and sessions, especially in the area of HPC Computing. People should be given exposure to knowing AMD’s open-source platforms. Definitely, they might give it a thought to use such platforms to solve their business problems or in fact personal projects.
So, that’s it, folks! Let’s hope AMD India gets involved more with the gaming and developer community. Please feel free to reach out to us in case of any queries. Stay tuned!