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Published on April 5th, 2007 | by Daniel David

HP to take on game consoles

Related to the story about the console gaming coming to an end, this is more about what exactly HP is bringing to the table for PC gaming. HP Labs research centre is developing technology that could be incorporated into next-generation PCs that play interactive video games designed for the broadband era. By doing this HP thinks can take the crown back from console gaming.
They showed off prototypes of gaming technologies, including gaming PCs from VoodooPC, which HP acquired in the fourth quarter of 2006. The gaming unit within HP’s Technology Solutions Group is called ‘Game On’.

The prototypes they showed off had computers with curved screens so somebody playing a racing game can the see the track ahead and to the sides of them. They had a touchscreen computer built into a coffee table so that players sitting on all sides can play. HP also played a video of a boy walking through the city with some handheld gaming device, he points the device to a portion of the city’s skyline, and the device scans the outline of the buildings in view and creates a game scene from that image.

Rahul Sood, chief technology officer of HP’s global gaming business unit, who came over from VoodooPC, sees HP offering a premium line of gaming PCs priced higher than its current line of HP and Compaq-branded PCs, but lower than VoodooPC’s custom-made models, which can sell for $8,000.

Last year gaming consoles grew 33 percent while sales of gaming PCs grew by only 1 percent, according to the retail sales tracking firm NPD Group. HP has quite a task in front of them to take the market back from game consoles.

Rob Enderle, lead analyst from The Enderle Group said, “The buyer may say they don’t want one and that is the risk when you make a game changer. You make a guess at where the market is going and you get there first. If you guess wrong you’re there all by yourself.”

The curved screen sounded pretty cool but my main concern is going to be the price of all this, none of this sounds cheap to at all. They hinted a bit about it but I would like to know more about the price. That handheld device sounded good to, being able to take pictures and create a game scene out of it. HP taking a big risk and I don’t know how its going to pay off but it all sounds interesting.


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