GDC - Top technology companies form gaming alliance

Top vendors including Intel, Microsoft and AMD form the PC Gaming Alliance to promote PC gaming.

Some of the top technology companies, including Intel, Microsoft, Dell and Advanced Micro Devices joined forces Tuesday to form the PC Gaming Alliance, which will try to promote the PC as a gaming platform.

The alliance will bring hardware makers, software companies and game publishers under one roof to "accelerate innovation, improve the gaming experience for consumers and serve as a collective source of market information and expertise on PC gaming," the alliance said in a statement.

The companies will work together on challenges facing the PC gaming industry, including piracy and the establishment of hardware requirements for PC games, the alliance said. PCGA also hopes to accelerate growth of the PC gaming industry and standardize the development of gaming PCs and software by developing and promoting guidelines.

The alliance comes at a time when PC video game sales are falling. PC games sales in the U.S. were US$910.7 million in 2007, down from US$970 million in 2006, according to research from NPD Techworld. PC game sales in 2007 dwarfed in comparison to the sale of software for video game consoles like Sony's PlayStation and Nintendo's Wii, which were $6.6 billion.

Unit shipments of PC game software totaled 36.4 million in 2007, compared to video game software unit shipments of 153.9 million, according to NPD.

The U.S. gaming industry already has the Entertainment Software Association, which represents vendors that publish games for both computers and consoles. About 90 percent of the $7.4 billion revenue of PC and console gaming software in 2006 belonged to ESA members, giving the association a dominant presence.

Other PCGA members include Acer, Epic, Nvidia and Razer USA.

The announcement comes during the Game Developers Conference, which is being held in San Francisco. During the show PCGA member Intel launched a new gaming platform formerly code-named "Skulltrail." The Intel Dual Socket Extreme Desktop Platform includes two quad-core microprocessors, totaling eight-processing engines, and supports graphics cards from ATI or Nvidia.

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Agam Shah

IDG News Service

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