Creation of the the PC Gaming Alliance leaves questions
Subject: General Tech | February 20, 2008 - 11:03 AM | Ryan Shrout
If you are curious about this new "PC Gaming Alliance" that was announced at GDC as a partnership between Microsoft, Intel, NVIDIA, Epic, AMD, Acer, Activision, Razer, and Dell. What is it going to DO exactly? They are looking to give the PC its single-voice champion to communicate to the gamer, to help in communicating requirements and also....well we aren't quite sure. And Ben at Ars Technica seems to have the same inquisitive reaction.
Having executives from Microsoft, Dell, Nvidia, Epic, and Intel
speaking about various ways to promote gaming lead to some rather
interesting observations, as they clearly have divergent agendas.
Epic's Mark Rein once again railed against integrated graphics,
while noting that the price of NVIDIA's 8800 line of graphics cards
continues to drop in price, leading Intel's Stude to look
uncomfortable, while a smile crept across the face of Nvidia's Roy
Taylor. A question about whether or not Vista or XP would be pushed at
the OS of choice for gaming also lead to a few uncomfortable moments,
with Microsoft's Ungaust claiming that Vista is a success while noting
the similar growing pains of XP.
It was also emphasized that the group had no plans to push for digital
distribution. "Why would we stop buying shrinkwrapped games?" Rein
asked; he also praised Best Buy and Wal-Mart's support of PC gaming.
While the group seems to have a solid grasp of what's wrong with PC
gaming, it didn't put forth any compelling ideas about what to do about
them. It's also unclear why consumers should trust a group composed of
members that have much to gain by presenting only certain kinds of
information. While many would argue that XP is, at the moment, the
better OS for gaming, would Microsoft allow the PCGA to say so? Would
standards for PC hardware include information about ATI cards even
though the company isn't part of the group?
As the meeting broke up, there seemed to be many misgivings about
the group, primarily focused on the fact that no one was sure what it
would actually do. Everyone agreed that the issues the PCGA discussed
were real but, without a strong roadmap detailing what the PCGA hopes
to accomplish, the group may simply become a quagmire of differing
goals and ideas about what PC gaming should be and how to best serve