PC Gaming Gets Industry Boost

Dennis Faas's picture

Hardware manufacturers and software publishers have banded together to try to boost the depressed PC gaming market. They've formed the PC Gaming Alliance (PCGA), the first organisation ever dedicated to that cause.

The non-profit group's aims include "driving coordinated marketing and promotion of PC gaming...and creating forums for member companies to cooperate on solutions to challenges facing the PC gaming industry, such as hardware requirements and anti piracy."

Members include graphics card rivals ATI and NVidia, hardware firms like Intel and Acer, games producers Epic and Activision, and Razer who make accessories such as console-style keypads.

Ironically, Microsoft is also on board, even though its Xbox 360 has taken many gamers away from computers and onto consoles.

Though the PC games market is worth $911 million a year, that figure is falling, and was down six per cent in 2007. Analysts say consoles are attracting players by offering titles such as real-time strategy games which are traditionally PC-based. (zdnet.com)

Members of the group say they'll be able to share information about the types of people who play games on computers. They'll also look to tackle the problem of games requiring too much power from computers.

However, some of the obvious solutions, such as hardware producers including top-spec graphics cards from another firm in their computers, seem unlikely to be followed through. At the press conference to launch the group, a spokesman for Epic attacked the built-in graphics cards used by firms such as Intel and praised the falling costs of NVidia cards. That's unlikely to promote harmony between the firms.

There's also some question about how open the group can be in discussing the issues. Tech writer Ben Kuchura pointed out that many in the industry believe Windows XP is better for gaming than its successor, Windows Vista. However, it's unlikely Microsoft would be happy for the group to back that view. (Source: arstechnica.com)

The PCGA clearly has a common goal among its members, but it's not yet clear whether they'll be able to take any effective steps together to achieve that goal.

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