April 10, 2007 Hewlett Packard is expanding into online, mobile and PC gaming. With the international gaming market estimated atUS$36 billion, a figure so immense it eclipses the GDP of entire countries, it is easy to see why. HP acquired VoodooPC last September (2006), and last week revealed a number of initiatives that have obviously resulted from the two companies integrating their core skills. The developments promise much more immersion for gamers in the future with HP showing a large, curved screen designed to fill a gamer’s entire field of vision, a high resolution “super projector” purpose-built for projecting multi player games on a large surface and a method of superimposing “multimedia digital experiences” on physical landscapes, enabling people to play a game throughout a city with wireless handheld devices.
PC gamers in the US spent over US$20 billion on gaming software and hardware in 2005 – a figure that rivals movie industry revenues. With the amount of time and capital being inserted into the gaming industry, it is likely that the sophisticated technology developed to meet gamers’ needs will also be applied in different fields. HP gives the example of its display technology, stating it could prove useful for teleconferencing systems, or even provide the basis for inexpensive digital film projection in movie theaters. Additionally, while the VoodooPC OMEN is designed for gaming, a significant proportion of users harness its computing power for video editing.
“Gamers are early adopters and high-performance enthusiasts who can test drive advanced technologies that could someday be broadly applied to other computing capabilities,” said Rahul Sood, a chief technology officer in HP. HP provides technology infrastructure for Trion World Network, an online gaming company, and according to a Ziff Davis Media study, HP is currently the premier PC manufacturer for casual gaming.