Duncan Faithfull, EVP and CCO of Quixant talks with Lewis Pek, Editor of G3 Magazine about Quixant’s Intel roadmap, enhanced software offering, support provided to customers, and expectations of G2E this year.
Duncan, what can we expect to see from Quixant at the G2E show next month? And what are your expectations of the exhibition?
The Quixant team is really looking forward to G2E this year. We are excited to meet both current and future customers in Las Vegas, and we’re already hearing feedback from our customer base that they’ll be showcasing a host of new and innovative products at this year’s event.
Our biggest customers are excited about their new cabinet and game offerings, and already the organisers are predicting that attendance is going to be very strong this year, which is always a great indicator that our industry is in good health. Quixant has a great stand this year and we have got some amazing new products and solution to present to visitors.
At G2E we are focusing upon our core product range. Quixant is well known in the industry for our orange boxes, which offer the full range of PCs, from IQ at the lower end, IQON, our mid-range option, right up to the highest performing QMAX – all of which include our embedded Software Suite solutions. We also continue to develop our cabinet proposition, which means that our booth will highlight both our core products and the future direction of the Quixant business. And, importantly for us, we are going to be launching a new product on the stand this year.
Quixant is integrating the full range of Intel products into the product line-up – where are you on that journey and when will the project be complete?
We have been making great progress. Our QMAX product, which is our high end PC, is now available with Intel and is ready for our customers to start testing. What we are going to be launching at G2E this year is our new IQON, our mid-range product. Excitingly for us, we are going to be able to show this product in both AMD and Intel versions, which means that our customers have their choice of graphics performance options. The new IQON is going to be available in the first half of 2024, fundamentally giving our customers greater choice.
The key takeaway is that all of the support and expertise Quixant offers around our AMD proposition now transfers automatically to the Intel versions. Our customers can switch seamlessly between the two with confidence, knowing that the Quixant wrapper is the same, whichever option they choose. All the support, all of the technology behind their choice is the same. Plus, the team of people that have given advice to our customers over the last 15 years will offer the same level of support across both versions, which I think that’s a really big development for us and our customer base.
Software is a vital part of the Quixant offer. You mentioned the Software Suite earlier. Is there anything that you want to highlight, anything new that’s coming our way?
Most important to highlight is that Quixant’s Software Suite is embedded within all our platforms. So, irrespective of whether IQ, IQON or QMAX is the right solution for the customer, they all of them come with Quixant’s embedded integrated Software Suite on board.
The Software Suite has two component parts: the essential software that developers need for games to function on their cabinets; and a range of enhanced features that are designed to allow our customers to focus on what they do best – creating phenomenal games. The Quixant Software Suite is designed so that developers don’t need to worry about what makes the technology work. They can instead focus on creating brilliant games that differentiate their products in the marketplace.
Fundamentally, all of the regulatory and BIOS requirements, plus everything that’s required to ensure game functionality is installed in all of our products. However, it’s the enhanced features that make the games stand out, and that what’s really important to our customers. Game content is the big differentiator and utilising the Software Suite embedded within our products is helping game creators to stand out in a crowded marketplace.
We provide everything necessary to run the terminal, from system management and security solutions, through to everything that makes the game stand out, including lighting, sound-effects and music. We provide everything needed to bring games to life. And the fact that it’s available across all of our platforms gives customers the option to switch seamlessly between different solutions, which I think is really important. Depending on cabinet strategies and what our customers are trying to achieve in different marketplaces, the commonality of this approach means that designers, irrespective of what platform they choose, have the powerful and reliable solution they need from Quixant. Plus, it’s all available on the website. The latest Software Suite is ready to be viewed right now. It’s really exciting and I think it will really help our customers’ content stand out.
We are seeing lots of development around AI right now – automating software processes being especially applicable to the gaming industry. Intel has launched a series of Open Source reference kits for AI developers – what impact do you see AI having on the gaming sector?
As technology progresses in the next couple of years it’s inevitable that AI is going to make an impact on the gaming industry. We are currently working with Intel on their AI roadmap and while it’s fair to say that we are at the beginning of the journey, Intel is exploring all the benefits that AI can deliver.
Nvidia is also driving its AI roadmap, and we are engaging with them to apply the benefits of AI on graphical performance in particular. We are also seeing applications focused upon facial recognition, loyalty bonusing and minimum age restriction, which I think will become an integral part of how AI can be used to benefit players and operators in our industry.
Right now, we are engaging with our partners on the benefits AI offers in the short- to medium-term. Quixant is already working in conjunction with Intel and AMD to drive great game performance at a time when the customer experience is more critical than ever. So I think while we are focusing on the today, over the next one to two years, there are clear benefits AI will present to the industry, and that we will continue to work with our partners to ensure we deliver these benefits in the future.
How has 2023 been for Quixant thus far? What are the market trends and OEM demands that are defining this year – and how would you characterise them?
OEM demand has remained consistent this year, with customers wanting to enhance their ability to create stand out content. They want to create vivid, vibrant content that is a real point of difference with players. So we are being asked for higher graphical performance at good value, which is why we have introduced three different product types within our core range, both with AMD and Intel options, because it’s important to offer the right power choice and value that’s appropriate to their needs.
In terms of new markets and new opportunities, Quixant is focusing upon LatAm as the market – especially Brazil – which offers great prospects for future growth. We are already preparing for what Brazil could become and have an established route to market that allows immediate access to our products for those interested in doing business in Brazil. So, whenever you’re ready, Quixant is ready. We are also focusing on the sports betting sector. We’ve launched our first two cabinet options and we will talk more about our sports betting kiosk as regulations are passed. For the present, we are developing a deep understanding of our customers’ agendas as they track market developments.
We’ve spoken at length in the past about supply chain issues, but in the past six months this has started to normalise, though we are not quite back to pre-pandemic levels. This year we have also seen our customers start to reduce their inventory levels as a result of lead times getting back to normal. And I think that the pricing pressure coming out of the Far East is easing, which means that as we go through next year, we hope to see a normalisation of pricing as well.
Overall, availability will become less of a problem and the focus will shift to making sure we get the right products in the right place, at the right time for our customers. Being able to respond quickly to market demands is crucial. Quixant’s close links to the Far East, through our manufacturing centre in Taiwan, is a huge benefit as it ensures we are right on the pulse of everything in terms of supply chain and components from China. Quixant is in a great place overall and we are really looking forward to G2E and showing off everything that we can do for our customers.