PC Maker Considering 'Open' Game System

By Aaron Linde, Mar 17, 2008 4:15pm PDT PC hardware manufacturer Acer is considering the development of an open, non-proprietary game system, BetaNews reports.

Acer senior VP James T. Wong said that his company has a game machine in mind that would be built upon "open standards" at a press event last week.

"If you look at most of the other game machines that are out there right now--Nintendo's, the Xbox [360]--they are 'closed' and proprietary systems," Wong said.

Unlike the current roster of consoles, an "open" platform would not require corporate oversight or management, allowing anybody to run just about anything on the hardware.

The company, which recently acquired fellow PC manufacturer Gateway, hopes to incorporate open standards into all its products envisioned for future development, including the possibility of a console or console-like game system.

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  • I have mixed feelings. It does improve upon some of the things I find abysmal about the concept of consoles...the idea that you have some sort of central planning bullshit deciding who can develop for the system what can be made for it and what have you limits the developer's options, keeps people from developing for the platform, and really underestimates everyone (the user who the system assumes can't be trusted to purchase the good games and ignore the bad and think for him or herself outside of the constant insipid fanboy chatterings and marketing bullshit people assume end users base their thought patterns on and the developer who will succeed or fail on their ability to make wise decisions with or without the control of a restrictive third party...it even underestimates the platform because we assume that it is so fragile that even a handful of shitty products will kill it...when there are always shitty products). I really like that if I have a special situation (lets say you've got a guy with one hand like...baron calamity I think)...well I can work around that a lot easier with an open platform where I've got lots of choices and if I don't like any...I can take some solder, some bits and pieces, and a little ingenuity and make an input device that works for me...or I can program software that fits what I want. On a closed system if you are the exception to the rule...you are fucked and more and more we've got very restrictive setups with regard to controllers (MS has put protection into its controllers so not anyone can make one anymore...and this will only get worse).

    For all the rambling above (and it got fairly incoherent there in the end, if not in the beginning) I really think this is sort of a solution in search of a problem and about as useful as a second pair of elbows...ignoring the fact that I don't think that the PC is dead or dying (it is in a state of change I will admit) I just don't see this as really offering a better alternative to the PC or a fix to its problems. I do see it as a novel approach to a console. I own a GP2X and I love the thing...the idea of a portable system that I can actually write programs for is as near and dear to me as the DS is...I love both of them...the GP2X is in a niche market...but it seems to be thriving in its smaller very specific market. I think thats the best shot this has...and if it does well at that then it will be a success. We need products to fill niches...not everything needs to be the mass market smash success...we end up with big gaps and lost chances for something cool. That said I think this will probably end up being the next 3DO rather than a unique GP2X but a console instead sort of thing.