Published on October 29th, 2015 | by admin
Ann Bai HyperX Interview (PAX Aus 2015)
Impulse Gamer caught up with Ann Bai, DRAM Sales Director and head of the HyperX product line. Ann joined the Kingston marketing department in 2001 and was in charge of marketing management in the APAC region. Later, Ann decided to transfer to APAC headquarters in Taiwan and take on the role as DRAM Sales Managerin 2005. She has taken the responsibilities of expanding Kingston’s market in APAC ever since, and within 5 years, Kingston has secured the lion’s share of DRAM modulemarket in APAC. In 2010, Ann was promoted as DRAM Sales Director and nowalso heads the HyperX product lines including DRAM module and peripherals.
Welcome to Impulse Gamer Ann and Australia! So tell us how you became involved with Kingston?
I started at Kingston as an intern in the last year of college at our Headquarters in Fountain Valley California and have been with the company ever since. At first, I took on the role as a marketing coordinator for the APAC region for four years then transferred to APAC headquarters in Taiwan and took on the role as DRAM Sales Manager in 2005. I then moved to DRAM Sales Director and since 2010, I have been head of the HyperX product lines including DRAM modules and peripherals.
What do you think the biggest change to technology has been over the last 10 years?
10 years ago, the IT industry was always focused on hardware specs when talking about technology. People were always looking for better specs, faster processing power, and stronger builds. Over time, that gradually shifted from pure spec improvement to user experience or what we call the applications.
This applies to Kingston and HyperX too. We are known to offer Memory modules of the best quality at the highest frequencies, but we have to look into how we can complement our customer’s gaming experience as well. It all started with our different models of memory, SSD and USB to tailor for different gaming environments. Then we pushed further and launched headsets and mousepads as we see great potential and felt we could offer different features that are not yet available in the market.
If you predict the next technological advancement over the next 10 years what would it be?
My take would be Virtual Reality; it may have a great impact on the entire gaming industry. Gamers could experience the real life-like adventures, not just with their eyes, but being part of the game. Or let’s be bold, flying cars would be on the top of my list!
HyperX! Why do you think this product resonates so well with gamers?
Since the launch of HyperX in 2002, our goal is to provide high-performance products tailored for the gaming market, so you can say we’ve been in the gaming market for over 10 years. At HyperX we believe “gamer” experience matters and we strive to improve and broaden our product offerings to accommodate gaming trends. Our Cloud headset is a great example of that as our product development team studied and searched high and low to find what they believed to be the most comfortable (and it is proven to be) headset with great sound quality for gaming. That’s not all, we are passionate about the gaming community too. Over the past years, we have sponsored over 20 teams globally and participate in global events big and small. Just like our involvement with this year’s PAX Aus ESL Arena.
At PAX Aus, which products will Kingston be promoting during the 3-day expo?
We will have full HyperX product lines including DDR4, SSD, USB, and peripherals displayed at the booth with discount specials just for our Australian gaming fans! In addition to all our known products, we will launch the limited edition HyperX Cloud Mav headset during PAX Aus. It’s an extension to our Cloud headset, where we work with street-artist Sloth for a hand-drawn art finished ear cup design on our headsets.
What’s your favourite HyperX product at the moment?
Headsets! I don’t leave home without it. HyperX Cloud II is so comfortable and versatile, it works on my PC, mobile and even on the plane. It’s my must-have travel accessory and most importantly, it came in my favourite colour – Pink!
As a company what’s been your biggest challenge?
As a company, I believe we have overcome many obstacles in the past 28 years but I can tell you our most recent challenge would have been adding gaming headsets to our product offerings. From a company that’s only known for memory products, headsets were a whole new ball game and a challenge that we feel we have worked hard to conquer.
Our years of investment into the gaming community have helped us understand the market and has brought us closer with the community. Seeing the gamers enjoying our products is hugely rewarding for me and also for the teams creating the products too. Also, I’m pleased to say, the Australian market is one of our front runners in the APAC region, sales wise thanks to having the right partners and products that resonate with Australian gamers. HyperX is available in major retail outlets and we’ve received rave reviews all round, it’s recommended by Impulse Gamer too.
Finally, what are you most looking forward to at PAX Aus?
HyperX of course!! It’s our first time in PAX AU so we are all very excited to meet the gamers and fans! Can’t wait to meet them all! … Or my personal favourite, the Limited Edition Star Wars PlayStation 4 up close!!!