An Interview with NZXT
As PC hardware companies go, NZXT has been pretty successful in recent years. Its cases rarely if ever disappoint and usually sport modern, even groundbreaking features while it also offers some of the best all-in-one liquid coolers too. We caught up with its founder, Johnny Hou, about the company's past, present and future and also its most successful products.
bit-tech: Were you a PC Enthusiast before you founded NZXT?
I've been using PCs since I was 10, mostly to play PC games on a 286. My favourite game from those days was an adventure game called Monkey Island. When gaming PCs started to become popular in the early 2000s, that's when I really started to get into the enthusiast and hardware side of PCs.
Currently, I’m just getting into Witcher 3, one of my favourite games on the PC. I’m hoping that Star Wars Battlefront will be the big reason to upgrade this Christmas. I know there’s been a lot of controversy over it but I hope DICE doesn’t disappoint. Normally when I’m looking for a quick game I usually stick to a game of ARAM in League of legends.
bit-tech: When NZXT was founded 11 years ago, what was the main focus of the company? What area did it want to specialize in/achieve?
The main focus was to bring something to the market that was significantly different from what existed. Most products in the case market were variants of each other or beige. I remember Alienware was really hot at the time and broke out of the gaming PC market with a radically different design. We designed the Guardian, a radical case with a side and front panel- a lot of people hated it, but we also had a lot of users telling us how much they loved it!
Original Noctis sketches
We are not afraid to be controversial and are aware choosing a chassis is a very personal decision, meaning there is no such thing as the perfect product!
Through our line-up of chassis from the conservative and cost effective S340 to the brand new aggressive style of the N450, we aim to provide a product that caters for a range of different customer tastes, feature requirements and budgets.
The common factor in all our products is that they are specifically designed with innovation in mind to provide a positive impact to the customer experience.
bit-tech: Who did you see as NZXT's main competitors then and now?
We don't really like to say competitors because for us it's more important that we try our best to grow the pie - the PC industry takes enough hits from the outside. Whilst we are aware there is competition out there, as a company we try to not get distracted by the other brands in the market. We have our focus set purely on creating new innovation, additional features and moving designs forward in a constantly evolving PC market. This, we believe, is the key to creating truly unique products and features rather than following a common trend.
bit-tech: What do you think took NZXT from a relatively unknown brand to one of the best-known brands today?
It’s great to hear that feedback! We have tried to deliver the right product the customer needs, but still feel we have a long way to go to reach the full potential of the brand. It’s a crowded market space and we need to keep innovating to continue to grow. Our biggest strength has really been the community support of the things we do. We dedicate ourselves to driving products to the next level and sometimes we take risks knowing the repercussions and thankfully our fans and the PC enthusiast community has been supportive.