What is Gamix?
Gamix is a set of specifications for an entertainment PC. This PC can be a traditional Windows-based computer that can play Gamix software, or it can be a less expensive console dedicated to only running Gamix software.
The concept is to give the PC the same advantages of stability and simplicity for interactive entertainment software that the consoles by Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft have been offering for years. An important part of the Gamix specification is that Gamix software must boot from a CD or DVD- so that on a Windows-based PC, the Gamix software completely ignores any existing FAT32 or NTFS partitions. Gamix software requires the availability of USB 2.0 Flash memory, but can also support EXT3 as an option.
The PC is inherently a more powerful and flexible platform than the consoles. More importantly, the PC is a much more accessible and affordable platform for hardware manufacturers, software developers, and publishers. It is unfortunate that for almost thirty years the PC has disappointed customers and retailers by never overcoming the complexities of installing and running entertainment software. As a result, PC-based entertainment software sales have declined despite the continued growth of PC hardware sales. Consumers have definitely voted with their pocketbooks, choosing to spend their money on the consoles for their home entertainment.
This is happening at a crucial time in the market. After years of speculation, it appears that the world may be ready to accept convergence in the living room. And it seems that the press has decided with the growing popularity of videogames, it is a foregone conclusion that it will be a videogame console that wins this battle of convergence.
Gamix offers an alternative.
For decades the consumer electronics industry and the computer hardware business have demonstrated the value of standards and competition. Continually improving products matched by continually decreasing prices have become a way of life. It is very surprising that industries that have been so successful and innovative have not even been acknowledged as competition to the proprietary consoles of the videogame manufacturers. Gamix gives these non-videogame system manufacturers a viable way to compete without the burden of having to develop their own software libraries.
Now is a very good time to renew interest in alternatives to today’s interactive entertainment market. The game development community has a long love-hate relationship with the console manufacturers. On one hand, technology has driven the game business, and new hardware brings more sales. On the other hand, for years the console manufacturers have put significant financial burdens on both developers and publishers for the privilege of participating in the market. The console manufacturer’s ultimate control of the market has bred resentment and stifled creativity. What game developers want are the same opportunities that artists in film and music enjoy- a simple way to reach all consumers.
Game publishers are also keenly aware of the advantages of an open marketplace. Software publishers need the PC market because the low barriers to entry allow for risk and experimentation. The declining PC games market has been a very bad omen, and publishers should welcome any opportunity to revive it. The PC game market has long served as their perfect model, but declining sales and even more rapidly declining retail shelf space has put lots of pressure on the industry to play by the console manufacturer’s rules.
All of this leads to the possibility of widespread acceptance of an open gaming platform based on standard PC hardware specifications. Gamix hopes to offer a compelling solution to this scenario.