Alienware Blurs the Line Between Console and PC

RhombusHatesYou

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viranimus said:
However, the biggest problem with it is that the Dell Optiplex form factor is friggen huge and there is essentially no where I can put it that it is not very much in the way. So I can say the desire to have something with a smaller form factor for this purpose is very real.
Sounds like you could use a mATX/uATX HTPC case and spec from there or go mITX... depending on how much power you want in your system. mITX is mostly aimed at pure home theatre but can be goosed enough to get decent gaming capabilities on low power draw.
 

Snotnarok

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This is just silly, you can build a PC for cheaper that'll run BF3 on higher settings. And this isn't really anything new, I hooked my PC up to my TV when my 360 died and well, I use the 360 controllers.
 

Giftmacher

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Looking at the website the base model is an i3 not an i5... and yes, it's comparatively expensive.
 

fix-the-spade

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Battlefield 3, 1080p, 32fps?

With GT 545 mobile chip?

In theory, yes, as long as absolutely nothing is happening at all. The moment some douchebag fires, drives or walks in your general area, that card is going to heave it's guts out. Wouldn't expect to see figures north of 20fps in actual use.

Got to love Dell marketing.
 

Scarim Coral

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Look nice but the power supply is small (ok it probably be enough). This would be been a interesting alternative for me but I already invested in a new PC.
 

Wilbot666

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RUINER ACTUAL said:
What's so wrong about kickin back on your couch for some Minecraft?
Burn the witch!

Nah just kidding but you actually raise a good point. I hadn't thought of sitting back more comfortably, it honestly just never occurred to me. I may have to try it from my armchair in this room later this evening.

Guess I'd better borrow one of the flatmate's 360 controllers and try to hook that up too.
 

LGC Pominator

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You know being able to play on some PC games comfortably might just sell me on the idea...

I mean the PC gaming market isn't really going to win people like me back fully for the whole "you aren't real gamers" mean meanypants ness of the late 00s, but I enjoy enough games on steam to make kicking back and enjoying some M&B Warband in the comfort of my lounge seem like a somewhat palatable idea.

Perhaps this is what we need to bridge the gap between console gamers and PC eli... enthusiasts. Maybe.

I would like to see a more open version of this technology however, when gamers are able to mod out their small form factor machines without risk of overheating we may reach the gaming singularity!
 

lancar

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Eh..
Not my cup o tea, but i suppose i can see who'd be interested in this.
It's exchanging upgradeability for aesthetic design, though. The graphics inflation curve has started to peak, so this approach may actually start to make sense soon. If it was significantly cheaper, i might even get one for the TV to connect to my home network. I like to keep my TV and desktop systems seperate.
 

draythefingerless

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So...its a console? Unupgradeable, mainly only useful for console games(im sorry, youcant play minecraft WoW or RTS wiht a controller, you just cant and stop trying to), has basic entertainment plug ins like consoles do. But it costs almost double the PS3 does. :/ AND its probably gonna have compatibility issues with some games, as all PCs EVENTUALLY DO. so why buy this?
 

Joccaren

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s_glasgow99 said:
Alienware isn't just on to something, they're pushing the inevitable. I believe that within the next 15 years (if we haven't destroyed ourselves by then) the home computer system will be something very similar to this, just a lot more to it. People will have a wireless 'cloud' hub secured in their home broadcasting a secure wireless signal Different parts of the house will have devices (each sold separately :-D) that will interact with the hub in different ways. The television will receive wireless television, all broadcast via a web stream service, people will buy network access instead of channels, giving the studio complete creative control again. Gaming networks like XBLA and PSN will be all that's left of the game market, selling proprietary controllers programed to access each console network specifically. In fact, that is where a lot of this will really shine, all the systems in the house will be accessing the information from the same source, but the GUI and operating system will change depending on the interaction. The multi user processing will make this hot too, allowing someone to game off 16" bedroom display, while another watches a streaming movie from the living room, and someone else is doing homework in the office, all off the same hub. All the data stored on the hub would be accessible from all the terminals, just with different functionality and interface. It may seem futuristic and seem like something you'd see in Sci Fi fantasy. But it's almost here, in fact, we'd be there now if Viacom could get it's hands on Apple.
I've had that going in my house for the last 10 years. Got me own server in the house, TV set top box links up to it, my PC links up to it, Laptop links up to it - everything links up to it. Not all of its current functionality was available 10 years ago, but that sort of thing has been happening for a while. Your average joe just thinks its Sci-Fi cause its not always user friendly, and my dad who's been in the IT industry a good 25 years now still F***s things up with it occasionally.
Honestly, if consoles would connect to the server (They may, I don't have one and really don't want to buy one), then you would have that 'Sci-Fi future' today. I don't really even need a console though. I just link up my laptop to the TV and use wireless keyboard and mouse, and run games off that (As running it straight from the server suffers lag and loading time issues due to the fact that it has to message the server telling it to send the file, recieve the file, and then process the file instead of simply reading the file off the HD and processing it. For large sizes and numbers of files, this is highly impractical), whilst connecting to the server and playing movies and such recorded with Tivo then converted to a more normal format and saved to the server on my parents TV, whilst my sister checks her emails that are saved on the server. That 'Sci-Fi' future really is here today, maybe not for consoles, IDK, but everything in my house is linked up to that central hub. Its not too practical to run games off it - it has worse loading times than running it off a CD, which is terrible when compared to running it off a good SSD - but every file my family has is backed up on that server somewhere.

OT: I personally hope this kicks off and gives Microsoft and Sony a kick in the nuts. Teach them to have a ten year release schedule.
10 years! In that time, processing power and such will have improved by about 64 to 128 times (Computing power doubles approx every 18 months. 12*10 (Months times years) = 120. 120/18 = 6.667. That means it doubles 6.667 times. 2^6 = 64, and 2^7 =128. As such, computing power has increased by about 64 to 128 times in those ten years. I have a feeling I've done something wrong, so someone correct my maths if I have.). This if this takes a fair portion of console sales, publishers will be more inclined to stop giving PC players crappy console ports. When that happens, we'll get better games for the PC. Hoorah!
Yes, that was somewhat PC elitist. Say that I am wrong for wanting better games on the PC though, and you are being hypocritical as you most likely want better games for consoles - and thus have no right to call me out for something like that.


Edit: I also laugh at all the 'Maybe now I'll be able to kick back and play PC games on my couch and TV'. You could already do that. Link a laptop or tower up to your TV via HDMI, get a wireless mouse and keyboard (Or a wired one, less recommended though) and play on your couch and TV. Where's the difference?
 

Roxor

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The Console Of The Future?

Okay. I like that idea. Having the Console Of The Future basically being a mid-range PC with a specially set-up GUI optimised for use with a gamepad is an appealing idea. Yeah, okay, I know it doesn't claim to offer a GUI optimised for console-style input devices, but it's not much of a leap to get there from where we are now.
 

viranimus

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RhombusHatesYou said:
Sounds like you could use a mATX/uATX HTPC case and spec from there or go mITX... depending on how much power you want in your system. mITX is mostly aimed at pure home theatre but can be goosed enough to get decent gaming capabilities on low power draw.
Yeah, I agree. I personally adore working with micro ATX boards. Odd thing is, my main PC is a MicroATX board in a full tower. I do actually like how efficient the architecture can be. However after refurbing the optiplex, and just going through a massively painful software upgrade from 32 to 64bit so as I can utilize all 16gb of my ram, and with a new build for my kid sister on the horizon, I personally am not in the market for any new rigs. The Optiplex does a damn good job for whats in it and the price I paid and I am the type of person who would gladly suffer an inconv. like an ugly tower gauming up a sleek entertainment center if it was cheap enough and allows me to utilize at least 3/4ths of my steam library + minecraft on that 62 inch LED.




draythefingerless said:
im sorry, youcant play minecraft WoW or RTS wiht a controller, you just cant and stop trying to
Ill refute that. Not only have I known several good players in WoW who exclusively use a controller, Ive done it my self in WoW. Currently I am doing the same in ToR. I tank world bosses and Solo Heroics (with a reasonable level grade For example Heroic mobs lvl 25, and me being level 29 because at my core I am a soloist.) I hate to hear baseless presumption like this because I know for a fact it can be done. It can be done well, and in some cases done more efficiently than what can be done with a K&M config. As is the case with most situations like that in MMOs.. its not so much the toon, its the person behind the avatar and as the old saying goes, its a poor craftsman who blames his tools.

Wilbot666 said:
RUINER ACTUAL said:
What's so wrong about kickin back on your couch for some Minecraft?
Burn the witch!
HAHA! I know your just joking around but I got to ask.. Would your head explode if I told you I not only play on the couch but I play with a 360 gamepad while on the couch? I mean really, theres no other way to play for me.
 

BrotherRool

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; a small ... It's only marginally bigger than an Xbox 360 ..
=><= ? Even the slim 360 is still a friggin' massive block. The original PS3 was bad but at least the slim moved in the right direction...
 

Treblaine

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viranimus said:
Treblaine said:
I think this niche doesn't exist for a reason.

PC is either portable laptop, or spacious enough that you can easily get to components to upgrade/repair parts.

People who are taking to the approach to gaming where it should just "plug it in and bloody work as however you deem fit" will always lose out to Xbox or Playstation. And the PC trying to compete for slots in the HDTV I think it a bad room. That is spatial competition where it is not strong.
I would be inclined to disagree. I have a relatively small living room, and a obscenely over sized (for the room anyway) 62 inch LED tv and one problem I face is the fact I do not carry television subscription. I am using OTA USB tuner stick, Hulu, and Blockbuster. I extensively rebuilt an old Dell Optiplex 770 for the sole purpose of being the PC for the TV. The TVPC is used more than the 360 & PS3 combined. I can use it to run The Old Republic and it is a truly immerse feel to have that large of a screen, full 7.1 dolby surround sound + the subwoofer is a 200 watt Fender Bass Amp. I had been running my main PC on the tv like this, and I just reformatted and am preparing to move it back to the tri monitor display at the desk, but even with a keyboard and mouse it has been one of the best gaming experiences to play in that environment on the couch.

However, the biggest problem with it is that the Dell Optiplex form factor is friggen huge and there is essentially no where I can put it that it is not very much in the way. So I can say the desire to have something with a smaller form factor for this purpose is very real. Not 700$ real. Just like the rig I mentioned, I have all of 230$ in it, and it has quad core, 4gb of ram, 1gb of video and can run the likes of TOR,Arkham city and others. None of which are maxxed out, but that really isnt the point, its the access to things you cannot otherwise get on a true console (weve been downright abusing "The Binding of Issac"), plus all the other benefits a PC can bring such as the PC being about 70% voice automated.

So I do think people are starting to migrate to having TVs w/ dedicated PC hardware, some of which like myself are taking it a step further and choosing to add in enough hardware to make gaming viable on it. It is a niche market, but it feels like a step in a direction that the industry seemingly is moving towards.
I appreciate how people can enjoy plugging their PC into a HDTV, it's the console form factor with huge price I don't think is competitive.

Yeah, but this is for £700 - that's $1100 in merika money - you can get a PC more powerful in a Midi sized case (surely there is room for that) and with upgradable-ability. Is it really worth an extra $300-400 and the loss in upgrade-ability for this shrink?

And I do have reservations with the PC control setup of keyboard and mouse, how unsuited that is to laid back on a couch, unless you know some effective setup I may not be aware of
 

ph0b0s123

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Grey Carter said:
How would you like a gaming PC that can fit under your TV?
Got one. Had it for 4 years.

Grey Carter said:
Gaming PCs tend to come in two, not particularly distinct, flavors when it comes to form factor; large and gargantuan. [http://cdn.overclock.net/c/c1/c113121f_vbattach97312.jpeg] It's kind of a tradition. But now it's 2012, and more and more people are moving their PCs from their basements to their living rooms. The classic '2001 Monolith that's been used to surf through an LED factory'-look is becoming less desirable.
I give up with PC coverage on this site sometimes. mATX and uATX as a form factors to make small can fit under TV PC's, has been with us for most of the last decade. The only thing with this form factor is you cannot build something with a cutting edge hot components due to the cooling issues. Just under cutting edge is fine though. This is the same issue that means consoles also cannot have hot components, as in physics.

This is why in PC vs console discussion. The reason for having a console, because you can game from your sofa with a joypad has not existed as an advantage for about the last 10 years.

Thanks escapist for pointing out what anyone with any PC knowledge have been aware of for a long time now. What's next an article on 'You can connect PC's to TV's like a console'. Basically this article was the news that Alienware for the first time is launching an mATX system. That was all that was needed, rather than the uninformed condescension.
 

viranimus

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Treblaine said:
And I do have reservations with the PC control setup of keyboard and mouse, how unsuited that is to laid back on a couch, unless you know some effective setup I may not be aware of
Your certainly not off base. It could just as easily be stated that the niche market in question consists of those who like paying extravagantly more than they should while getting less in return. Surprisingly thats a fairly large cr*cougapplefanscoughcoughhackhacksniffle*owd of people.

But yea, I do have a couple suggestions.

For gaming purposes on the couch, Xpad + 360 gamepad
More dedicated gaming, Atypical wireless mouse & keyboard.

However, what I tend to use when I am not using the gamepad is this.


http://www.thinkgeek.com/gadgets/travel-outdoors/e0e7/

Its more idea for switching between rudimentary games, and tv applications such as tuner cards, hulu, netflix, etc Its basically the closest thing to a remote for a PC And.. it has a laser pointer too so it doubles as cat toy.
 
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Lol they are being very optimistic with BF 3 settings and FPS and personally to get a new PC I would need to be getting 60fps constant or it is not worth it. Also this is not particular new but the parts can't be too high end or it will end up melting itself and I would still rather a monolith.

Yes a monolith which is then connected up to the TV would be much better for me and I don't see anything like this really taking off. Anyone who is in to PC already know how to do this and get more out of it than this little thing.
 

Vedrenne

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Just been on Alienware's UK site and the £699 model has an i3 processor and 4gb memory. The next one up is £849 and sports 8gb memory and an i5 processor. (http://www.dell.com/uk/p/alienware-x51/fs)
 

Treblaine

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RUINER ACTUAL said:
Treblaine said:
I think this niche doesn't exist for a reason.

PC is either portable laptop, or spacious enough that you can easily get to components to upgrade/repair parts.

People who are taking to the approach to gaming where it should just "plug it in and bloody work as however you deem fit" will always lose out to Xbox or Playstation. And the PC trying to compete for slots in the HDTV I think it a bad room. That is spatial competition where it is not strong.

The PC is strong at the table with a computer monitor. Millions of people will flock to their desks to play games as with World of Warcraft, Minecraft and Steam.
You sound like you don't want it to exist. What's so wrong about kickin back on your couch for some Minecraft? NO! You must be at your DESK. I'm just saying, be open, ya know? Don't be so defensive about what PC gaming should be. And not even gaming. Eg. Watch Youtube videos on your HDTV with your friends. Skype with your family. Switch inputs and look up gaming tips. Maybe you throw a blu-ray player in it. Plus we don't know what Windows 8 is going to do exactly, but it looks like a lot of home entertainment things. Oh, another one: really loud music on your 5.1 surround. Just because its from Alienware doesn't mean its strictly for gaming. Maybe I'd like to do some 3D animation on my couch, not at my desk. Feel a bit more relaxed.
Well, It's not so much that I'm not a fan of PCs in HDTVS i'm not a fan of almost ANY games console in a HDTV!

As far as I am concerned, the only value use of a huge screen is for groups of people as it's easier to get more people round a largr screen while retaining a good screen angle and apparent size (complicated geometry).

So big HDTVs are social gadgets, they are a waste if it's one person playing it as so few games today (and virtually none on PC) have split-screen or same-screen multiplayer. If it's just one person watching a screen it doesn't matter if they are 3-foot from a 24-inch screen or 9 foot from a 72 inch screen, it will fill the same field of their vision and they will be able to resolve the same detail just as well. It's a waste having such large HDTVs. It's like building a 100foot wide HDTV on the opposite side of the Grand Canyon.
 

RhombusHatesYou

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viranimus said:
RhombusHatesYou said:
Sounds like you could use a mATX/uATX HTPC case and spec from there or go mITX... depending on how much power you want in your system. mITX is mostly aimed at pure home theatre but can be goosed enough to get decent gaming capabilities on low power draw.
Yeah, I agree. I personally adore working with micro ATX boards. Odd thing is, my main PC is a MicroATX board in a full tower. I do actually like how efficient the architecture can be. However after refurbing the optiplex, and just going through a massively painful software upgrade from 32 to 64bit so as I can utilize all 16gb of my ram, and with a new build for my kid sister on the horizon, I personally am not in the market for any new rigs. The Optiplex does a damn good job for whats in it and the price I paid and I am the type of person who would gladly suffer an inconv. like an ugly tower gauming up a sleek entertainment center if it was cheap enough and allows me to utilize at least 3/4ths of my steam library + minecraft on that 62 inch LED.

Have you thought about dropping the Optiplex's guts in something like a Silverstone Sugo or Lian Li HTPC case?