PC industry rivals form gaming alliance against consoles

Posted by Humphrey Cheung

San Francisco (CA) – Gaming consoles like Sony’s PlayStation
3 have taken up too much of the spotlight and PC companies are taking
notice.  At this year’s Game Developers
Conference, arch rivals like Intel and AMD are putting aside their differences
to wage war against consoles.  The
aptly-named PC Gaming Alliance or PCGA already has an impressive list of
members like Acer/Gateway, Activision, Dell/Alienware, Epic, Microsoft and
Nvidia.

Randy Stude is Intel’s director of the Gaming Program Office
and represents the company is the founding member.  The PCGA is an open organization and
membership is available to anyone who has the money to pay dues.  Advocating PC games is the group’s primary
function and Stude said the public needs to know that computer games aren’t
going away and provide a gaming experience that equals or surpasses console
games.  “We’re trying to get rid of the
fallacy that PC gaming is dying,” said Stude.

 

To prove his point, Stude cited market research figures that
showed US PC gaming revenues growing 12% to $2.7 billion last year.  He added that PC game revenue make up 30% of
the entire game market.

Educating consumers on system specifications will be one of
the primary challenges for the PCGA. 
Stude said consumers are often confused about minimum system
requirements for graphically challenging games. 
Fellow PCGA board members agreed that consumers can be easily led astray
because they automatically think an expensive computer will play the top
games.  “It’s easy to get an $1,800 boat
anchor (of a computer),” one member said.

But you just can’t educate consumers to get the message out
and Stude says his group will also work with developers to streamline their
minimum system requirements.  To us it
almost sounded like the will develop a rating system (similar to ESRB) that
will score games according to performance requirements.

Stude agreed with reporters that cooperation between members
could be somewhat difficult, but he describes board meetings so far as
amazingly “harmonious”.  Looking at the membership
roles, you’ve got a strange alliance between two discrete graphics card makers
Nvidia and AMD/ATI with integrated graphics champion Intel.

 

You also have a possibility that Apple would join, although
the group hasn’t actually extended an invitation to the famous computer maker
just yet.  “The organization is open and
is willing to accept applications from anyone who pays the dues,” Stude told
the reporter who asked the question.

So it will be interesting if this group can actually put
together some new standards or marketing campaigns without seriously offending
some members, but one thing is for sure – no new logos to slap on game boxes.  “I don’t think we need a logo … those are
expensive to make,” Stude said.