A reader argues that a new brand of gaming PCs, with their own first party games, is needed to provide true competition for Windows PCs.
There should be a brand of gaming PCs/laptops to compete with the dominance of Windows/x86 based machines running Steam. Back in the 80s and early 90s Commodore and Atari computers were somewhat successful and popular alternatives to the Macintosh and PC that were popular largely for playing games. Depending on your region of the world MSX, PC-8800, PC-9800, and ZX Spectrum, to name a few, were also popular alternatives to the MS-DOS/x86 based computers that would go on to establish dominance over the personal computing market.
Nowadays all that remains is Apple’s Macs, alongside the more recent addition of Google throwing their hat into the ring, where Chromebooks are an attempt to gain a share of the computer market. But none of these two brands have any machines that are aimed at gamers. There’s nothing wrong with the current set-up of Windows/x86 machines for gaming but competition is good for the consumer, and I believe an alternative to that near monopoly would be a good thing and here’s why.
It encourages that us versus them mentality which fuels a mindset of friendly competition between rival companies, a sense of customer loyalty, and one-upmanship which has been so common in the tech industry over the years. Samsung vs. Apple, Apple vs. Microsoft, Microsoft vs. Sony vs. Nintendo, Commodore vs. Atari… you get the idea.
To further elaborate on this point, if you look at the Apple Mac fanboy and fangirl crowd they feel a sense of one-upmanship over the regular Windows user because of the switch from x86 to ARM-based Macs in the last few years and I’m sure Apple as a company thinks the switch made sense due to Intel having problems producing modern power efficient 64-bit CPUs, and quality control problems with chip fabrication.
A similar example of one-upmanship is Sony’s super-fast SSDs for the PlayStation 5 which the Xbox Series X/S and Nintendo Switch doesn’t have, which is the technology that is supposed to make Rachet & Clank: Rift Apart feel like a truly next generation game compared to stuff on Xbox One/PlayStation 4, with near instant load times and better, but not necessarily mind-blowing graphics.
With that in mind I think a hypothetical gaming PC brand should take a step away from x86 and Windows (maybe be daring and use ARM or RISC V) to take advantage of the power efficiency of different computer architectures and offer an operating system different to Windows, like a Linux distro to encourage the us versus them mentality and offer things like added security or a much smaller operating system size.
Also, I think this hypothetical gaming PC brand should make their own exclusive video games similar to what Nintendo do, similar to what Sony mostly do (with the exception of a few games they’ve ported to PC, and similar to what Microsoft does on the Xbox and Windows platforms.
I think this would be a major advantage over PC companies like HP, Dell (Alienware), Asus, and MSI who produce x86/Windows based gaming PCs and usually sell high-end gaming hardware at £600+ and presumably at a profit, while video game consoles are usually £500 or below and sold at a loss, with the money made back from first party game sales and royalties from third party developers.
I think the combination of a hypothetical PC gaming company producing their own first party games, as well as possibly licensing out a Linux distro as a developer platform to third parties, similar to a console, would allow the gaming PC to be much cheaper than others on the market. I think this idea would be a brilliant evolution in the PC and video game market, that encourages competition and fandom around a brand. If successful it could inspire nostalgia in gamers years down the line, as well as brilliant games and hardware.
By reader Rocha
The reader’s feature does not necessary represent the views of GameCentral or Metro.
You can submit your own 500 to 600-word reader feature at any time, which if used will be published in the next appropriate weekend slot. Just contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or use our Submit Stuff page and you won’t need to send an email.
Follow Metro Gaming on Twitter and email us at email@example.com
To submit Inbox letters and Reader’s Features more easily, without the need to send an email, just use our Submit Stuff page here.
For more stories like this, check our Gaming page.
Get us in your feed