Take gaming seriously

Gaming is now more than just a source of entertainment...

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By  Published  December 1, 2006

Gaming is a big deal. Regardless of whether you’re an end gamer, developer or PC builder, you should have your sights set on the gaming market. Why I hear you ask? Well, read on… As an end gamer, besides allowing you to blow off steam or have fun with your mates, the gaming market now actually offers a potential career. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve no doubt heard of professional gamer, Jonathan ‘Fata1ty’ Wendel who’s now a celebrity thanks to his skills. Not only does he make tons of cash from winning gaming tournaments - he pulled in over $100,000 worth of prize money in just one year - he’s now making a fair bit of coin from allowing companies to stick his ‘Fata1ty’ nickname on various bits of kit. Should you make it big, there’s nothing stopping you from doing the same. Of course being a pro gamer will take some doing but, at the end of the day, it still means that you essentially get to play games and potentially make a life out of it. Sweet deal. Game developers of course already know the importance of the gaming market because at the end of the day developing great games is what keeps them afloat. In fact these firms believe so strongly in the market that they now pour in hundreds of thousands of dollars just to develop a game. Unfortunately, it seems this logic is lost upon certain PC vendors who are quite happy to sell you a ‘lemon’ under the guise of a gaming PC. Regular Windows readers know by now that a proper gaming PC is one that offers a blend of processing power and graphics rather than pairing up a fast CPU with a mediocre graphics card. This is the same as attaching a V12 engine to a transmission with gear ratios so low, that the engine is reined in and can’t deliver on its full potential. Happily, there are signs of change. The most recent is HP’s acquisition of VoodooPC. For those of you not in the know, VoodooPC is a firm that specialises in building highly-tuned gaming PCs and notebooks. The company will become part of HP’s Personal Systems Group but more importantly, it means that yet another Tier 1 vendor now has the in-house expertise to produce proper gaming machines. Dell made a similar move earlier in the year when it bought Alienware. It’s safe to assume that being a part of the gaming market in terms of building killer rigs and keeping a steady ‘fan base’ was on both Dell and HP’s minds when they made their move. Obviously smaller PC-building firms can’t just buy a specialist manufacturer, but the truth is they don’t have to. All they need to do is invest a little time into researching which components work best together and build a PC accordingly rather than trying purely to make a quick buck. Doing this will not only result in satisfied customers, potential word of mouth sales and perhaps repeat business, but firms could also find that their machine is the one a future ‘Wendel’ uses to hit the big time. Free publicity? You betcha. Jason Saundalkar

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