Thirty years ago, IBM began selling a PC based on an open architecture. Soon, rival manufacturers began selling compatible PCs; and the rest, as they say, is history. Hundreds of millions of PCs have been sold in a fiercely competitive industry driven by performance and innovation.
PC meant personal computer. IBM was bringing the power of the computer to the home. A huge attraction of the PC was an endless stream of new, exciting, and pioneering entertainment software titles. The power to create games, and the power to play games was all available in one box. This is where so many of today’s great software developers got their inspiration and got their start.
From the beginning, computers were slightly complicated and a little daunting. Their great power kept people believing that software would continue to improve and overcome user difficulties. Software certainly continued to improve, but it also continued to become more complex. Paralleling the computer, videogame systems mastered simplicity, but could never compete with the PCs breakneck technological advancement.
Now, the PC is dead.
The computer’s little brother, the game console, has grown up. There is no more personal computer. Today the Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, and Playstation 3 rival the power of the PC. Today’s game console can do all of the things people want to do with a personal computer: play games; play movies; play music; browse the Internet; e-mail and instant messaging; sharing digital photographs; and more. And today’s game console can do all of this with an interface that is much more stable and friendly than Windows.
Microsoft is telling us the PC is dead.
Microsoft Windows and the Xbox clearly demonstrate that Microsoft believes that game consoles are for the home and PCs are for the office.
So call it the OC: Office Computer.
This declaration has serious ramifications for the entire interactive entertainment industry. This industry needs the PC. The PC gives the world a development tool and an open market that does not exist in the world of game consoles.
Consumers need the PC. Consumers want the variety and creativity that an open market nurtures.
Manufacturers need the PC. Why cede the living room to Microsoft, Sony or Nintendo? Dell, Sega, Gateway, NEC, HP, Samsung, Lenovo, Toshiba, LG, Sanyo, Panasonic, Philips, and everyone else should be competing for the living room.
The answer: The PC must deliver the consistency and simplicity consumers expect from the game consoles.
Gamix is an open gaming platform based on the PC. The concept is to give consumers the simplicity of the game consoles while maintaining the power, flexibility, and variety of the PC.