Webedia is doing it again: The “Find your next game” format will take place from November 1st to 7th in a version focused on gaming hardware and tech. For a week there is bits and pieces of technology. The editors of the magazines Gamestar and Gamepro as well as the website “MeinMMO” and the faces behind the Twitch channel “Monsters and Explosions” then focus on news and interesting facts about gaming tech. Why the spectacle? We asked Mirco Kämpfer, Head of Tech & Hardware Editorial at Webedia Gaming.
Spinning on the Twitch channel on November 3rd and 4th Monsters and Explosions, on the MeinMMO website, gamepro and Gamestar as well as the podcasts from Gamestar and from MyMMO everything to do with gaming hardware. There will be around ten hours of live programming on the entertainment channel “MAX”. Webedia, the media company behind the magazine brands, promises “expert talks, informative content, entertainment and news about new hardware and products”. The experts from the editorial offices look at the current tech topics that gamers might be interested in, if it is not about the video games themselves. In the stream, on the web and in podcasts, it revolves around PC construction, peripherals, hardware components, technologies, gaming notebooks - and last but not least, the future: cloud gaming, next-gen consoles, VR and more.
Gaming hardware: "Not just dull numbers"
When it comes to technology and gaming hardware, it's one of those things: some cheer when they are finally allowed to upgrade their gaming machine themselves, others are already overwhelmed when it comes to the USB port for the new gaming mouse to find. Hardware and peripheral manufacturers don't make it easy for the average gamer anyway: deep learning, super sampling technology, ray tracing, hyper-threading, 120 or 240 Hz?, Double capacitors, cherry switches - there are many terms behind which - sometimes more, sometimes less - innovative technological developments. Keeping up is not easy, even for die-hard gamers. A “workaround” for this dilemma? Use the games console, for example. Or simply deal more intensively with the topic of gaming hardware.
Several Webedia brands now want to offer users an easy entry into the tech cosmos with the special edition of the “Find your Next Game” format, which is specially geared towards games hardware and tech. One of the people who has an editorial hand over the project is Mirco Kämpfer. As Head of Tech & Hardware Editorial, he is responsible for increasing interest in gaming hardware on the platforms. Kampf has been working for Webedia Germany since 2014, initially as an editor, later as an SEO manager - now as the boss. This is not least due to the hardware initiative from Webedia. To put it more simply: the topic should generally be given more attention. The FYNG special format is one of the new ways. With the game editions of the format, the editorial offices have several million views reached, last in spring.
This is what “Find your next Game” looked like in the spring - but the focus was on the games and not on the hardware:
“Find your next game” means: entertainment streaming, but with a journalistic claim, please. We wanted to know whether “FYNG” is more journalism or entertainment. Mirco Kämper explains: “Both. Of course, we have high quality standards for ourselves. For example, when we present the best gaming headsets or write a guide on the subject of monitors, a lot of time has gone into research and tests. " In addition, one is in an exchange with the community - for example via the comments on Reddit or Youtube. It's about “understanding the target group even better and responding to their needs,” explains the head of the hardware department.
Because the interest could be lower than in other game themes for the reasons mentioned, the entertainment factor is used as a motivator: “But we also want hardware to be fun and not just consist of boring numbers and benchmarks,” explains Mirco Kämpfer. “That is why we value the personal experience of our experts and a rather relaxed language in the texts. In the live program we have also planned some cool entertainment shows such as a hardware quiz or a PC building race. "
Technology: high demand thanks to Corona
Now it's not that “tech” is a completely new topic in the gaming world. But it has changed, has grown: “Of course, technology has always played a role, but nowadays there are many more products and technologies because completely new product areas have emerged,” explains Mirco Kämpfer. Among other things, he names wearables such as smart watches and headphones with clever functions; VR and AR glasses, technologies such as DLSS / FSR and ray tracing. “We also see that the areas of interest media & gaming and tech & hardware overlap a lot, especially among 25 to 34 year olds. That's where we tie in. "
And then there is Corona, the virus that people temporarily penned at home and left to themselves. The pandemic has affected interest in gaming technology. There is an “extremely high demand due to the corona pandemic,” says Mirco Kämpfer. “Working in the home office suddenly meant that more people needed a laptop and perhaps a second monitor, a good headset or microphone for virtual calls. During the lockdown period, due to the lack of alternative leisure time, people looked for new hobbies and bought a console or a PC. Now, even after a year and a half of Corona, we still have a lack of resources for chips, which will probably continue for over a year ”. Because of this alone, the interest is higher than ever.
A high level of interest on the part of the readers usually means a lot more effort for editors to prepare topics. How do you keep track of the sometimes rapid market developments? Mirco Kämper explains: “Based on our target group, we have defined various product categories or clusters that we report on, for example peripherals for PC gamers. Here we then record important product releases in a plan. The focus on certain areas helps enormously to keep an overview. But we are also agile and try out new products or formats ”.
In addition to new developments, there are also tried and tested topics in the tech segment - those that can always be brought up because they are well received: These are “graphics cards, CPUs and next-gen consoles - PS5, Xbox Series X - all of which are based on Pandemic-related (chip) scarcity are extremely popular ”. And: “The currently most popular topic is undoubtedly our PS5 ticker, where we inform our readers about availability almost every hour,” says Kämper.
Speaking of Playstation 5. Their release - and that of the Xbox Series X | S - were once again seen as stabbing the gaming PC in the back. The computer has been declared dead for decades with each new generation of consoles. How long can the gaming PC survive in the face of steadily increasing competition? Technology expert Mirco Kämpfer says: “I believe that both consoles and the PC will coexist for a very long time. There are simply different target groups with their own needs in the game. Console gamers generally prefer coziness (on the couch), affordable prices and comfort. In return, they may forego the best performance, mod support and the option of upgrading their hardware. It is not for nothing that steam machines could not hold their own in the living room. I'm curious to see how Valve's Steam Deck will fit in here. ”
Firmly connected to the gaming PC are special accessories that are sometimes even supposed to improve the skill of the players - at least that's what companies like Razer, Roccat or Corsair promise, and often charge steep prices for them. Does games accessories keep what peripheral manufacturer promises? “That always depends, of course,” says Mirco Kämpfer, “but sometimes the little things make the difference”. In order to aim more precisely and faster in a shooter, you not only need a mouse with a high DPI number, but first and foremost a mouse that also fits ergonomically: “Big hands, small hands, grip technology - that is very individual. And we try to map this with the help of the personal assessment of our hardware experts. " Another topic are, for example, 120 or 240 Hz monitors, which promise even better skills, says Kämpfer. “We investigated that as part of FYNG Hardware. Be curious. " At this point we come full circle to the common format of Gamestar, Gamepro, MAX and MeinMMO.
"But that's the great thing about hardware: Depending on the area of interest, you can dive very deep into the subject."
Mirco Kämper, Head of Tech & Hardware Editorial, Webedia Germany
We wanted to know whether hardware is only an issue for nerds: “Both,” says Mirco. “Let me put it this way: Almost everyone needs a keyboard on their PC. Spending hours looking for information about different switches or importing special keycaps from abroad - that's what nerds tend to do (laughs). But that's the great thing about hardware: Depending on the area of interest, you can dive very deeply into the subject. " One of the tasks of hardware journalists is to prepare topics in such a way that not only nerds understand them.
The “Find your next game” format is one of the building blocks with which this should succeed. There is also a colorful bouquet of text and video formats that make up modern game journalism today. Balance is a big issue for those devising the right channel mix. The hardware manager at Webedia Deutschland explains how to do this: “By looking at where the target group is and adapting our offer accordingly. This includes above all mobile-friendly articles, but also the mentioned podcasts, videos and social interactions. Nowadays, in my opinion, you have to be multichannel. We still have a lot of potential here to reach even more hardware and tech-savvy gamers - and then to retain them. FYNG Hardware is also a building block in this strategy. "
The community also plays an important role in the editorial design. “We want to get as close to the community as possible,” says Mirco Kämpfer, “and therefore involve them closely in the event”. He means “Find your next game”. This should succeed, for example, “via surveys and small quizzes on social media and the websites”. He adds: "Live users can also interact with us in the streaming chat and, for example, ask questions on the topic."
“Our main goal is to make a statement with FYNG Hardware and to establish a hardware event in German-speaking countries that will convince both industrial partners and users,” says Mirco. Especially in the fourth quarter it is important to support hardware-savvy gamers in the purchase phase and, if necessary, to discover new, suitable products - “or to get more out of their hardware”.
Mirco fighter: Gameboy destroyer, interested in everything
And private? Mirco Kampf is close to that technology nerd that one would expect for his professional position. What is so fascinating about technology? “How can you not find technology fascinating (laughs)? Even as a child I liked to take things apart in order to understand them (RIP old GameBoy). Now I'm interested in everything: smartphones, wearables, smart home devices, electric cars, AI. " Technology and progress can, but need not, mean entertainment. Mirco Kämper: "Technology can make our lives more entertaining and enrich - sometimes even save our lives."
Technology is the future: “I am particularly fascinated by technical progress. Nowadays we have televisions and entire computers that are thinner than a finger at home or even in your pocket. Wristwatches measure our pulse and blood oxygen levels. Headphones block out background noise and change the sound depending on how your head is tilted. Games are displayed at a higher resolution than what the GPU renders using AI. And it doesn't stop. It remains exciting. "
Incidentally, if Mirco Fighter were sent to a desert island and he was only allowed to take a single game with him, it would not be the technically demanding shooter with 4K optics at 12o Hz: “Diablo 3 on the Nintendo Switch”, says Mirco.
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Last updated on 29.11.2022/XNUMX/XNUMX / Affiliate Links / Images from the Amazon Product Advertising API. * = Affiliate links. Images from Amazon PA API