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A little bird landed on my desk late yesterday afternoon and told me that it appears as if Dell has purchased Alienware. This is big-time news for gamers if it is true.
Regulars to this column will remember my remarks about Alienware products and customer service a couple of weeks ago. For those of you who need a refresher the column is right here
. I received a rather generous amount of feedback totaling in the 225 letters range. The vast majority, all except about 10 letters were agreeing with my stance that the only thing Alienware cared less about than its customers was its product.
The president of VoodooPC, Rahul Sood
seems to agree that the acquisition of Alienware by Dell makes sense to both parties. In his blog he writes;
"Dell + Alienware = Dellienware. Is it possible? Yes, at least I think so. I won’t get too far into details as to why I believe this is going to happen, but I will offer some of my thoughts. Even though Dell has never been known to make acquisitions, times are changing and so is their brand positioning.
First we all know that Dell cannot risk losing their stronghold in the server space therefore a potential relationship with AMD is bound to occur. That still leaves the question of the consumer market.
With the recent Intel/Apple relationship it’s clear that 15% (or whatever) of the consumer space for Dell may not be enough. Apple is likely to go to 8% with the help of Intel over the next year or so. The PC gaming market is threatening Dell’s “perceived technology leadership” – and ultimately the consumer space. The Alienware brand is cooler than Dell, and perhaps a likely candidate for Dell to take over based on size alone."
Giving Alienware credit, they own a lot of 'mindspace'. Their fancy pamphlet is in just about every game box you open and their advertisement (though not on TenTonHammer.com) are on many of the major gaming sites. Truth be told, they are just affiliate deals where anyone linking through from the game site to Alienware is tracked. If they make a purchase the referring website gets a cut. If a gamer is looking to buy a 'boutique' box and not build it themselves they are likely going to look at Alienware and the Dell XPS machines. The price is about the same and since the Alienware look cooler, well, you can see where this is going. Unfortunately, a company like VoodooPC which gets rave reviews from its customers isn't always priced as competitively as Dell or even Alienware. Voodoo PC is an even higher end machine, but it lacks the 'mindspace'. If a gamer were to spend $3,500 on an Alienware or $4,500 on a Voodoo their friends would be more impressed with the Alienware in most cases. It's a perception issue.
At this point nothing has been confirmed. We do know that the Dell press event at GDC has been cancelled. We also know that CNET also has a source that believes the sale to be a done deal. A deal with Alienware also gives Dell a means to deliver AMD processors to its customers.
Whatever happens, we will keep our eyes on it. I can't say it would surprise me if it were merely an Alienware publicity stunt.
I can see the new ads now, "Dude, you're getting an AlienDell".
Dellienware? AlienDell? Does anyone really care?
What's New On TenTonHammer.com?
Tavern Etiquette and more...
Let us entertain you or at the very least waste some of your time at work.
- Dungeons and Dragons Online: Blessed Too Much - Tavern Etiquette
"A dwarf walks into a bar...A good many jokes start with some variation on that theme, but it's no joke when you're unable to enjoy Dungeons & Dragons Online due to a few inconsiderate buffoons in the taverns. Darkgolem, in the guise of his gruff dwarf character, Thrumm, takes on the topic of tavern etiquette in an editorial that would make Emily Post proud."
- World of Warcraft: City Guide - Ironforge
"Not only is Ironforge the proud home city of World of Warcraft's dwarves and gnomes, its travel hub status and close proximity to high-end instances makes Ironforge a common destination for Alliance characters of any level. Get to know the Alliance's main midget-filled municipality with TenTonHammer's newest guide, which features a little Ironforge history, a conveniently-labelled map, directions to get to Ironforge for all the Alliance races, and a comprehensive quest list."
- Vanguard: Saga of Heroes - The Guild Beyond The Game
"A new 5 part series begins today on the History of Guilds, both in the real world and in MMO's."
- Vanguard: Saga of Heroes: Take #2 - PvE versus PvP
"AnomalousSilence takes a look at the differences between PVP vs PVE gameplay and roleplay in the world of Telon."
- Auto Assault: March AA Screenshots
"NCSoft / NetDevil has passed along some new Auto Assault screens, which we gladly submit for your viewing pleasure. It's new "Limited Edition" box art and some gorgeous new screenshots. And anyone can enjoy a few good ol' fashioned automotive mayhem pictures to tide us over until the game launches this Spring!"
Vin Diesel Fact of the Day:
Vin Diesel was once on Wheel of Fortune. He was not invited back as they are still waiting for the wheel to stop spinning.
Now on to the real world. You can't make this stuff up.
As always, thanks for visiting TenTonHammer.com,
-- John "Boomjack" Hoskin