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Alienware opens Area 52 to showcase gaming PCs

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Alienware, the creators of powerful gaming PCs, last week hosted a world-first event called Area 52 in Melbourne to showcase the power of their products.

Tech Guide was there to witness “Live Dimension Reality” – the first time 3D motion mapping, pyrotechnics, stunts and special effects have been combined in one show.

We also got a chance to talk to Alienware global marketing director Jorge Perez about the direction the company is heading.  

At the centre of the Area 52 display was an Airstream caravan, loaded with every Alienware device currently available, which is about embark on an Australia-wide tour to showcase the products from next week.

The Live Dimension Reality show was created with the help of world-leading special effects designers Boffswana and employed similar precision projection used recently at the Vivid light festival on Sydney Harbour and Customs House.

The Live Dimension Reality show inside Alienware's Area 52

The result was a show that created amazing effects that distorted reality. Combine with some live actors, stunt work and pyrotechnics and viewers at Area 52 were completely immersed in the experience.

The event also gave Tech Guide the opportunity to meet Alienware’s global marketing director Jorge Perez.

Tech Guide: Australia actually played a role in Alienware’s initial worldwide launch – is that right?

Jorge Perez: We’ve had our brand here since 2003 and part of the reason we chose Australia for our global expansion was because of the similarities in content to the US.

TG: So how did it all get started with Alienware?

JP: The founders were very much gamers themselves and the motto of the brand has always been “built by gamers for gamers”. That’s been the core of the company from the start.

TG: So is Alienware just for gamers?

JP: We really try to cater to our core gaming demographic but what we’re trying to do is expand that demographic to those who consider gaming in their purchase decision. But what we’re seeing is that by and large a lot of people are buying a PC to play games whether it’s high end games or low end games. Regardless of what type of game you play you’ll still want a good experience playing those games whether it’s the audio or the visuals on the HD screens that we offer on our notebooks or simply the performance.

The Alienware M18x - which has an 18.4-inch screen and an Intel Core i7 processor

TG: Just on gaming –  a lot of people might not realise how big PC gaming actually  is.

JP: PC gaming by and large outweighs any single console manufacturer that’s out there. Pretty much everyone who plays PC games has a console. We view it as the type of content and less about an either/or decision. Whenever we are asked this question we’ll say “raise your hand if you play games on a console” and “raise your hand of you play games on a PC”  – chances are they will all raise their hands. It’s about the content. Some games are designed for a 10 foot experience which is what a console delivers. Other games like RPGs are lot more pleasant when you have a lot more input with the keyboard and mouse.

The Alienware Airstream caravan which will tour Australia to showcase the Alienware products

TG: What about 3D? Will gaming lead the way to drive further adoption of 3D?

JP: We clearly see 3D as being a key technology for gaming. I see it evolving to the point where 3D is just as popular as 2D – it’s just going to take some time and cost reduction. I fully expect it to be an either/or decision for customers – they want to play some games in 2D and I fully expect some customers will want 3D. Content creators will create content specifically for 3D and others specifically for 2D. My personal opinion is you’ll see the proliferation of 3D mostly on handhelds simply because of the size of the screen which allows for glasses free 3D – that’s a pretty compelling usage model. I really don’t see 3D taking off until it becomes glasses free.

Alienware global director of marketing Jorge Perez

TG: With the power of the Alienware product line-up has the company ever considered marketing the devices as an entertainment product rather than just targeting gamers?

JP: Our intention is to market Alienware as a product that suits all of your needs. The analogy we like to use at Alienware is that people buy Porsches because they know it’s a race car and they never really have the intention of racing – they may decide to go fast on the highway but really it’s the perception that Porsche has been able to create. It’s a car built for racing. Some people do race with it but the idea is that because it can do that it should be able to do anything else.