Advanced Micro Devices on Monday unveiled its new AMD Game! platform brand and certification program for personal computers that are used to play video games. The move is projected to boost sales of AMD-based gaming PCs, however, if the company’s AMD Phenom processors and ATI Radeon graphics cards do not show high results in benchmarks and reviews, sales of AMD’s gaming hardware are likely to remain on current levels.
AMD claims that systems should feature matched and tested components which performance is balanced, e.g., a high-end processor should not be installed into a system with low-end graphics adapter and vice versa. The company believes that AMD Game! initiative helps ensure that the “computer system has been optimized for gaming with the right graphics and processor components”. The world’s second largest designer of x86 microprocessors and graphics processing units hardware and PC components that carry the AMD Game! logo let PC buyers and do-it-yourself gamers know they “will have a customized and exceptional gaming experience”, though, this does not exclude a possibility of building unbalanced PC configurations by DIY enthusiasts.
Acer, Alienware, Logitech and Microsoft are joining AMD to ensure consumers can easily identify PCs that deliver high-definition gaming and entertainment experiences out of the box. AMD Game! platforms are available immediately on-line from system builders such as Alienware, Cyberpower, iBuypower, Maingear and Velocity Micro; retail availability is expected in the second half of 2008.
“With the support of industry leaders in PC gaming, AMD Game! ensures consumers don’t need an enthusiast-level knowledge of PC hardware for an optimal gaming system. We in the PC industry owe consumers the same predictability, simplicity and affordability in finding a PC for gaming that the console industry currently provides,” said Nigel Dessau, senior vice president and chief marketing officer at AMD.
Market shares of AMD in microprocessor and graphics card markets have dropped dramatically in the last few quarters, according to analysts from Jon Peddie Research and Mercury Research. The main reason for market share decreases are relatively low performance scores of AMD Phenom and Athlon processors as well as ATI Radeon graphics cards compared to competing Intel Core 2 chips and Nvidia GeForce graphics adapters.
According to Jon Peddie Research, of all desktop and notebook PCs sold last year, two-thirds had only the most basic of capabilities, lacking the technology needed to drive a great gaming experience.
“AMD Game! is a new initiative focused on delivering a novel experience for consumers, addressing a problem that has long existed in the PC industry until now. Our research has shown that PC gaming is on the rise and this effort from AMD not only rallies industry support for PC gaming but also acknowledges that computer gaming needs balanced systems for the best consumer experience,” said Dr. Jon Peddie, president of Jon Peddie Research in Tiburon, California.
In fact, no PC-exclusive games, such as Crysis or Half-Life 2 Episode Two, have not made it into the Top 100 of best-selling games in 2007, according to Next-Generation web-site, which means that PC platform in general is losing customers to video game consoles. As a result, it is not completely clear why AMD spends resources on popularization of the PC gaming platform that is losing popularity.