HP Expands Gaming Division, Trion CEO Slams Consoles

By Chris Remo, Apr 05, 2007 1:20pm PDT
Hardware manufacturer Hewlett-Packard today solidified its plans to expand further into the gaming market. At its Gaming Summit event in San Francisco, the company announced new gaming-oriented products and stated that it will launch a range of PCs aimed at filling the gap between its existing casual PC product line and the higher-end models from enthusiast-level PC manufacturer VoodooPC, which HP acquired late last year.

Among the newly introduced products targeted at gamers is Panoply, a large curved display (pictured left) that encompasses a player's entire field of view by incorporating multiple inexpensive projectors with camera-assisted calibration. Also demonstrated was Mscape, a system that can lay down a "mediascape" of text, audio, and video across a geographical area, to be accessed by GPS-enabled mobile devices. Though such systems are most commonly used for navigation and other practical purposes, HP has plans to bring the tech into the gaming sector. The company did not elaborate on these plans.

This week's announcements come just over a month after HP partnered with recently formed Trion World Network to supply the hardware infrastructure for Trion's upcoming entertainment platform and games. Trion claims that the services it is developing will merge broadband delivery of games with traditional media.

Speaking at the Gaming Summit event, Trion CEO Lars Buttler denounced dedicated game consoles. "I believe the days of the console are numbered," said Buttler, who previously served as a vice president of Electronic Arts' global online divison. "There is one more generation of gaming consoles and that is it." The exec pointed to the growing gaming-related capabilities of PCs, claiming that they will soon render consoles obsolete.

Chris Faylor contributed to this story.

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  • that Panopoly thing - why?? While that may be kind of neat in a one-off type of use, I'd be interested to see what they consider "inexpensive." And then - what other uses does it have? I can't see watching movies or TV on that type of screen. So you have this big, one-use thing sitting..where, in your living room? To me, making a powerful gaming laptop that could more easily connect to LCDs / flatscreens / TVs already in people's living rooms makes more sense than coming out with something like this.

    I like HP products (have a nice zd7000 laptop as my main machine) but if they want to really make a contribution to the PC games market, they need to provide things gamers actually want (relatively cheap, solid, easily customized machines with lots of options).