Acer mulls 'open' console-like gaming system

— 5:11 PM on March 17, 2008

When you think of machines designed specifically for gaming, you probably think of consoles. Attempts to turn PC hardware into console-like devices have often failed for one reason or other (Microsoft's Xbox being a notable exception), with purpose-built (and heavily subsidized) hardware proving generally more popular with consumers. However, according to BetaNews, Taiwanese PC maker Acer could have plans for a new take on the concept.

Fresh from the successive acquisitions of former U.S. rival Gateway and former European rival Packard Bell, Acer is reportedly mulling a gaming machine based on "open standards." BetaNews says the Taiwanese firm mentioned the plans at a conference last week. Acer lamented the fact that current consoles are "'closed' and proprietary systems," and the company went on to say an Acer gaming system would be open and offer "new and innovative form factors and applications."

Considering what we were able to pack into our $580 Econobox system in our latest system guide, Acer's ambitions may not be unreasonable. With a low enough price tag and home theater functionality, a console-like gaming PC could turn out to be an interesting offering. However, such a system could have a hard time competing with, say, the PlayStation 3, which includes a Blu-ray drive and is sold at a loss by Sony in order to spur demand.

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