The Razer Blade May Be The Future Of PCs

The Razer Blade May Be The Future Of PCs

Does PC gaming need to be saved? It’s a question so arrogant it upset gamers for weeks after gaming peripheral manufacturer Razer posed it.

But Razer’s got a big scrap ahead of them. The Blade doesn’t go up against other gaming PCs — it’s going toe to toe with the world’s best hardware manufacturer. They’re going to fight Apple.

You can build a perfectly decent gaming PC for less than a grand. The new Razer Blade costs $US2,800. (I’ll get to the price in a bit. It’s a big deal–and something Razer is going to have to bring down.)

But here’s something that PC gamers don’t want to hear (and I say this as an owner of a shit-hot gaming tower of my own): PC gaming hardware is approaching a dead end.

PCs aren’t going to die, but they are fast on their way to a niche industry. And it’s not smartphones and iPads that are killing them — it’s the lack of systemic innovation in the PC hardware space itself.

Look, it’s not the ’90s anymore. There aren’t dozens of companies making PC hardware anymore, especially the sort that gamers need with real graphics horsepower. There are three: Intel, Nvidia and AMD.

And really, if you want to get right down to it, there’s just Intel. They’re the only company with the capital, resources and engineering prowess to move forward in the industry. (Nvidia may get there if their mobile Tegra platform finds customers in smartphones and tablets; they could use the revenue.)

But for years, Intel has been operating as a company fearful of accusations of monopoly, even though they largely have had no real threatening competition. But oops, here comes Apple using lovely mobile hardware that is fast approaching Good Enough status for even “real” computing in their mobile hardware.

Guess what? In another generation or two, those iPhone chips are going to be fast enough to power a decent laptop. It won’t be long before the MacBook Air and the iPad meet in the middle, not just in interface, but in hardware.

So where does that leave the PC hardware world? HP just bailed on PC hardware. Dell’s a rounding error for mid-sized corporate bulk computers. Apple’s moving through the consumer space like crazy, becoming the laptop of choice for not just students and creatives, but everyone but PC gamers.

What PC gaming needs are platforms. I know many of you gamers out there don’t want to see it — the varied choice and the ability to customise your hardware is part of why you love PC gaming. (And Android phones, I’m sure.) But it’s holding back one of the things that made PC gaming so wonderful for years: raw power.

Why do Xbox games running on six-year-old hardware look nearly as good as a modern PC games? Don’t quibble with me about resolution, texture quality, etc. You’d be missing the forest for the trees. Console games look close enough to PC games, despite PC gaming hardware being 10 times as computationally powerful.

Don’t believe me? Ask id Software’s John Carmack, who just a few weeks ago noted that one of his hopes for PC hardware was more standardisation within the platforms, so that the sort of low-level programming that really lets games and other software access the full power being held back by two decades worth of operating system compatibility layers, drivers, and all the cruft that’s accreted around PC hardware in a valiant but ultimately retrograde attempt to allow companies of various size to play in the game.

You can’t put a Ford engine in a Toyota. (Well, not easily.) Why should you be able to put an AMD video card in an Intel computer? Choice, you say. Fine. But if my choice is holding back the potential of my hardware, I’d rather take the losing companies out behind the barn and shoot them.

It’s time to buck and realise that the Apple model of hardware isn’t just one way to do it — it’s the way hardware has to go to move forward. There will still be competition, but the competition is between platforms, not within the platforms itself.

The Razer Blade is the first credible competitor to Apple from the PC hardware world in five years. Don’t get me wrong — I’m not sure that Razer even knows what they have on their hands or if they’re committed enough to the product line to see it through. But I’m sure Intel knows; the dedicated an entire engineering team to the project with Razer, after all.

Here’s what the Razer Blade is doing right:

It has a real brand.

Thanks to a race-to-the-bottom sales strategy, there aren’t any real quality brands in PC laptops anymore. The big players went for volume at the expense of quality. The boutique firms made powerful but awkward uber-machines that appealed to some, but were still burdened by me-too hardware, obscure brands, and far too much choice. (Yes, that’s a bad thing for the mass market.)

Razer, on the other hand, has a single product: the Blade. It has its specs. There is one model and if you want it, you buy it. They’ll likely come out with a new Blade next year that has the latest hardware. Sound like any company you know?

It’s a compromise machine in the best way.

It’s a fast machine, with powerful hardware. But not too powerful. (There’s a reason its screen is only 1080p, a relatively low resolution for PC gaming these days–mobile hardware can push that just fine.) At five pounds, it’s light for such a big screen.

It’s really not compromised at all — it’s purpose built. It’s built for gaming. That’s wonderful.

It actually has an innovative hardware solution.

That fancy multi-touch trackpad screen off to the right of the keyboard? That’s the sort of stuff that makes consumers perk up and take notice. It’s the kind of thing that people who have never heard of Razer before will notice in a coffee shop and ask, “What is that? Who makes that? How much does that cost?”

That a multi-touch screen is right in Apple’s wheelhouse is just icing on the cake. Take that, MacBooks!

It has the potential to turn into its own platform.

The Razer Blade will always be a Windows + Intel project. There aren’t going to be games or other software that runs only on Razer Blades, at least not for the foreseeable future.

But by consolidating into a single product line, Razer opens up the opportunity for game makers to create custom builds that more readily access the power of the hardware inside, just as the unified, standardised hardware of consoles allow programmers to continue to squeeze performance out of chips that would be laughed at if they were inside of modern gaming PCs.

Support and updates will be easier.

One set of hardware, one set of drivers, one less thing to have to wonder about when you’re trying to run games. I love PC hardware’s power and potential — I don’t love screwing around with drivers and such to get things running. If you do, more power to you (and yes, it’s better than it used to be), but that’s not what normal, mass market folks want. It’s just not. If Razer’s support for the Blade is as good as it should be, they should be able to operate a platform that has the It Just Works nature that Apple’s Macs tend to have. (Most of the time!)

The price is painful.

As of today, there are two laptops worth getting excited over, that set themselves apart from the pack via design and performance: the MacBook Air and the Razer Blade.

The MacBook Air is a low-powered, beautiful designed and perfectly built subnotebook; the Razer Blade is a monster gaming rig with a touchscreen interface unlike anything else out there.

I can walk into a store today and buy that MacBook Air for a grand. To get a Razer Blade, I have to spend almost three times that much.


They appeal to very different markets, granted. A fully kitted out MacBook Pro 17 will get you up to or over three grand, as well. But the Razer Blade has the mass market potential that most PC laptops don’t have.

$US2800 is fine for now. But let’s hope that next year’s model gets down closer to $US2000 — and $US1500 would be even better.

It’s tough, even with Intel in the mix. Nobody has a supply chain like Apple. Nobody can get the cutting-edge hardware as inexpensively as Apple.

Except, perhaps, for Intel. Hell, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Intel buy Razer outright in a couple of years if this really takes off. There’s no need to worry about monopoly any longer. There’s no reason to worry about pissing off vendors like HP and Dell. (Where else are they going to go? Apple? AMD?)

The death of PC hardware might be the rebirth of PC gaming. Don’t get me wrong–PC gaming is doing alright. I’m not a doomsayer. But I’m tired of the enthusiast market holding back the innovation in the space. It’s just like what happened to cars over the last 15 years. They became more difficult to work for the shade tree mechanic, sure, but they also became faster, more fuel efficient, and cheaper.

I want that for PC gaming. And if they play their cards right, Razer might actually be the company to do it. I’m just as shocked as you are.


  • PC gaming isn’t dying, and I don’t need to spend bucket-loads of money to save it. Razer has obviously got their publicity machine going in the right direction for you to run this long a story over a bunch of hype.

    Mouse. Keyboard. Win.

  • Okay, now I’ve had a look at Razer’s website I’m even more underwhelmed. It’s a laptop. It’s pretty. It’s expensive.

    Move along, this is not the Messiah you’re looking for.

  • I find this a really interesting issue, and I’m not usually one to be quite so piqued by industry talk.

    Joel is coming at this from a similar angle that I’ve spoken about before, though he doesn’t come right out and say it: PC is not a platform in the same way the consoles are. PCs are a collection of odds and ends that work together with only very low level standardisation. Apple, and now Razor are producing brand-name “PCs” which I guess means they aren’t actually PCs anymore. They’re consoles with more customizable options than an XBox.

    The Razor is coming at this from the PC side. I forsee a future where the other competitor in this space is Microsoft. They already have the only thing like a standard operating system outside of OS X, and they also have a piece of hardware. I really can’t imagine that the next X-Box won’t have a lot more PC-like functionality. They’d be coming at it from the console side, but at some point ther will be a much more complete OS on the XBox that allows at least an iPhone-like experience (installing apps etc, adding functionality), if not a full-featured Windows kind of experience.

    It is a little scary though, this future where there is no ‘open’ platform that anyone can program for. We’d want to be very careful not to allow that to be squeezed out entirely or we won’t have indie titles developed for fun – I wouldn’t want to have to pay a developers fee to MS or Razor or Intel just to experiment with a platform like Unity 3D.

  • For me, customisation IS PC gaming. That’s the only difference, in the end, aside from the KB+M. And this article is basically saying the future of PC gaming is to remove that customisation.

    Lol, no way.

    • The article also points out that the customisation you’re talking about is already a bit of an illusion. You only have 1 or 2 choices for your CPU and GPU. Its either AMD/ATI or Intel and/or nVidia. That’s not really customization, that’s very close to choosing between PS3 and XBox.

      Obviously there are dozens of brand-names like Gigabyte, MSi etc producing the cards, but not the actual chips. There are also different levels of each card, but that’s more a matter of pricing models. If nVidia were to only produce 1 or 2 cards every couple of years, those cards would be dramatically cheaper than they are presently – even then good ones.

      • But then you have the ram, the motherboard, the powersupply, option of sound cards, lan cards, tv cards etc and even if the chipsets on those graphics cards are the same, the cards themselves are vastly different.

        This is actually a good thing. It’s the reason that building a high-end gaming PC is still ridiculously cheap in comparison to a standardised platform like Mac.

        Whilst PC gaming was the big kid on the block developers had no issue handling all the possibilities they’d be dealing with in a custom PC when making a game. Now that more money can be made via consoles they don’t care. It’s pure laziness and it’s a shame that someone like Carmack has become like that.

        • Never had problems? You obviously never had the pleasure of trying to make the old sound cards work properly without stuttering or stopping completely. That’s even if the game supported your one.

          • I meant that developers didn’t mind having to work around countless combinations of hardware where as now they bitch, piss and moan about it.

          • ^
            this, programmers have much more powerful tools now than they did in those days. personally nothing satisfies more than figuring out where the 30% of my RAM was going after a week of fucking around.

  • “Apple’s moving through the consumer space like crazy, becoming the laptop of choice for not just students and creatives”

    I hate this so much. People are still brainwashed as to thinking macs are better with professional graphics. I study a ‘creatives’ course at uni and it’s nothing but mac mac mac mac mac

    • You’re an idiot.

      I’ve been a designer for 18 years and in my current job I use a Core i7, dual SLI, 12 gig of ram PC running windows 7, custom built by our IT manager because he thought it would be cheaper and couldn’t get his head around having macs on our network. My year old Mac Mini runs rings around it in photoshop.

      Comparing specs vs specs on apple and PC for design is useless. If you are a designer you need a machine that you’re not sitting around waiting for. And whether you like it or not because Apple controls the hardware and software everything is optimised, and when Adobe make CS they’re not having to account for multiple video card options.

      So guess what, it all runs faster.

      • Haha had a good chuckle at this comment, spot on Musky. Snacuum do you study a ‘creatives’ course because you are actually creative or because you like computers?..

      • Yeah, because Adobe just loves making their software run better for companies that hurt the reputation of their plugins, and Mac’s are never slow and totally don’t crash 0.o

        Oh wait, every time I see developer diaries for video games and movies the office is choc full of custom built PC’s. Strange that.

        • This. Save for sound design you pretty much see nothing but windows PC’s in behind the scenes footage for movies and games.

          • As someone who works in Visual Effects, I can tell you that production houses have a wide variety of systems in use. We had Windows, *nix, and Macs all running in house. Flame/Flint on nix, most administrative software, Maya and Nuke on the Windows side, Final Cut Studio on the Macs. Adobe software such as AfterEffects on both Mac and Windows. Most of our DVD authoring was also done on Macs. It just always seemed to work the way you expect it to every time, in a manner that was always a bit more… finicky, on Windows.

      • Strange, I’ve been doing Graphic Design for over 10 years, and every Mac I’ve used has been total junk. I really don’t appreciate when Photoshop has an “unexpected error” every 30 minutes or so; with my teacher/director saying “make sure you save every 5 minutes.”

        I’ve never had a problem with my PC and Adobe software.

  • I want to see PCs evolve into something truely extraordinary. Like I know this is either far fetched or impossible. This is for the BIG towers of PC,

    What IF we eventually built whole ultra powerful PC into a the BOTTOM half the a laptop. We remove the top screen so we’re not tied to a single one BUT have the option of modularly attaching one on and having that option for the sake of convenience.

    This other idea probably pointless or just science fiction, we could make attaching a keyboard on top of said screenless tablet computer (pretty much a slim shell) an option. So we could potentially have REAL innovation with EXTERNAL hardware, such as *just an idea* a flat surface plastic that dynamically CHANGES it’s surface shape to mold into textures, pictures, topographic maps, a keyboard, etc.

    So my point is, for PC users to accept this innovation you need to still give them everything that makes a PC what it is, customization, choice, freedom, independence & user friendliness.

    To summarise, it’s a slim screenless tablet bottom of a laptop like shell that can be ergonomic like a keyboard or even have a optional keyboard added to it’s flat surface. On all it’s sides, it’ll have man female ports for every modern device that CAN be changed with interchangeable face plates which you’d get with a new motherboard.

    The key here is that EVERYTHING will be modular, nothing shall be proprietary other than the chips. From the monitors which could be attached like a laptop monitor or used like normal monitors. The whole point of this would be CHOICE!
    The Shell itself would be almost like a fold out box that can be constantly manipulated & updated.

    A man can dream, can he not?

  • At a film studio I worked in, all 600~ workstations were beast machines with a high-end SLI setup, not to mention a render farm of a few thousand machines. Gamers are not the only consumers of high end PC gaming-oriented products. In fact if you did any research you will find that the film industry is adopting a lot of the realtime techniques that games do.

    Secondly, this article is a biased one that could easily have been written by an Apple or console fanboy (I hate using that word).

    Many PC people are tinkerers and a subset of those are masochists. Not all of them like having a pre-packaged or all-in-one solution that works right out of the box. The processes of selecting parts and building your own machine has its own feeling of satisfaction regardless of the outcome.

    Customisation is the strength of the PC, and when you cut that out, its not a PC anymore. Sure there are fewer hardware vendors now, but to compare the possible combination space of viable PC builds against the MacBook Pro is flawed at the very least. If there really are only a few PC build combinations, would the author care to enumerate them all?

    Another trend is that other industries and applications are starting to use more power now as high-end hardware becomes more commonplace. The latest firefox uses video hardware acceleration; multi-screen setups are becoming more common, as are “rich user experience” user interfaces for non-gaming related applications and real-time visualisation applications in many industries (e.g. science, financial trading, etc.) There is and always will be a market for high end PC hardware, and this market is growing – both on the consumer side and industry side.

    In his keynote and QA, John Carmack also said that if they were targetting PC only, RAGE would of had a very different architecture and been much more visually ambitious. He also said that he was considering a post-release “uber” patch for the PC version that gave higher visual fidelity that the PC deserved. So yes, maybe a lot of PC games do look similar to Console games, but thats because most AAA games are now cross-platform releases and cross-platform releases tend to be designed to work on the lowest-common-denominator hardware power (the consoles) – and this affects the outcome for the PC, and this is why often PC SKUs dont utilize the full potential of the PC – maybe if they did, it would help differentiate PC for those that dont know any better and still believe that PC is a dying, obsolete breed, and that closed, all-in-one solutions (consoles, Apple i*, razer blade) are technically superior.

    • Totally agree with this. This article just stinks with anti-PC sentiment to me, and approaches it from the completely wrong angle. As like many have stated above, the PC is not a closed platform like a console, or a Mac, and this is precisely the reason why I use it. This is also why PC gaming will never “die”. As pk said, gamers are not the sole customer for the hardware companies, and a very large portion of their sales are with corporations needing high-end setups for tasks such as film, or games development.

      The line that stood out to me in this article though?
      “Nobody has a supply chain like Apple. Nobody can get the cutting-edge hardware as inexpensively as Apple.”

      Don’t make me laugh. Bitterly.

    • But these are issues with the state of the industry rather than the state of the hardware in consoles and PCs and frankly any other issue.

      I think to reject the idea that Apple has the computer industry in a chokehold is just being childish and stubborn now. It’s not to say things won’t change, because Apple were on the brink of bankruptcy at one time, and Windows based computers were the obvious choice even only a few years ago. But things do change.

      If somebody who’s job it is to discuss the state of the industry tells you news you aren’t ready to hear that doesn’t make it “anti” or “pro” anything. It’s just the truth. There are hard numbers behind these sentiments that Apple is more and more taking control and most importantly, influencing, everything that happens on consumer technology these days.

      Yes, it’s clear that multi-platform releases mean that developers have to cater to the lowest common denominator, but it’s only because there’s almost no money in PC gaming for AAA developers now compared to consoles. They try to protect their (massive) investments with things like DRM and everyone absolutely abuses them for it, cancels their pre-orders etc. And if they don’t many people simply pirate the games they work so hard on. It may not be you, but don’t assume that just because you’re one of the good ones every other PC gamer can be trusted. PC gave us too much freedom and like humans always do, we proved we weren’t up to the responsibility.

      PC gaming will be perennial because it favours smaller development (and innovation) and technically impressive envelope pushing. When they next lot of consoles rolls round they will spell the hibernation of PC’s strengths for a few years but it WILL be back.

      Change is good. Change brings innovation. Change can also be scary. But you need to realise that the PC gaming you know and love was once the radical change purists and Luddites were fighting against. Your status quo was once somebody else’s revolution.

  • I don’t care how “revolutionary” your laptop is – it’s still a laptop and laptops could never replace the power, control and customization of a desktop PC.

    When my last rig died I was forced to use my wife’s laptop for a few months, and damn, those keyboards are so cramped, the trackpads are a joke and only one screen? What is this? The 90s?

    • Agreed, this matte finish on their keyboards/mice wears off so quickly it’s a joke.

      Also Razer update the fucking drivers for the Lycosa, I have had the same ones since I got this board in 08.

  • Ha, they expect us to pay that much for a laptop? A “gaming” laptop? There is a reason most PC gamers laugh at the guys who game on laptops.

    • Why would you laugh at someone who has a gaming laptop? Mine comes in handy for LANs because I don’t have to cart a giant tower and monitor with me and say for instance I’m rebuilding my PC or building a new (which I’m doing both of now) I can still game whilst getting the parts to complete the builds.

      I will add though that with the specs that this thing apparently has, the price is absurd.

  • I liked the part where every hack journalist claimed that PC gaming was dying every five years or so.

    Nintendo 64 comes out? PC gaming is dying

    Playstation 2 comes out? PC gaming is dying

    What is going to keep PC gaming alive is the astounding success of free-to-play titles like League of Legends and Team Fortress 2.

    I also don’t know why you are saying that this laptop goes against apple. PC gamers care so little about apple products – they are overpriced and only run a fraction of the games we want to play.

    Furthermore, as others have said, gaming laptops are only really viable for those who actually need the portability (such as myself), while others will simply build a desktop for many times cheaper.

    Also, to say that hardware isn’t evolving because of ‘lack of competition’ is simply not true. Have you seen the new sandybridge processors? They are flipping amazing!

  • I believe what PC gaming needs is a platform. Something so that all PC gamers can come together and be in one single community.

    This is what consoles have – one single united platform. If youre on your xbox, you can easily play with anyone from your friends list, not just friends in a specific game. You can see what theyre playing, what games they have and you can make new friends in any game.

    With PCs on the other hand, the closest thing to this would be Steam – however not all titles are on there. If im on steam, i know which of my friends are playing call of duty, but if i have a friend playing Starcraft 2 how do i know he is playing? well, i cant really..

    games need ONE platform to bring them all together and unite pc gamers. however, the issue seems to be that each company wants their own version of this and to be the company that controls this. Valve/Steam EA/Origin Blizzard/Battlenet

    There needs to be a platform made that allows you to add any game to it. so that you can see which friends are playing what, what games your friends have, their achievements or accomplishments and the ability to make a universal friends list.

  • How can you say your saving PC gaming from console by trying to create a console with a keyboard and trackpad? And the price really is too damn high.

  • what is really needed in my view is simplification of pc stuff, when a game is put into the machine it should have a single stream of data coming out of it and the pc deciding how to deal with it, so developers no the data is going to a intel/amd (sound much like xbox/ps3 ? ) and then it has the specific job of tasking out the data, so it no’s what type of GPU is used and it is the intels job to optimizes and the game developers job to sort out that one data stream, or at least a more highly optimized game, game developers are getting lazy, some really crap games are just as hardware hunger as other games just because they have had minimal optimization.

    and silly stuff like the DX11 patch for crysis 2, it has massive tessellation for a flat puddle ??? no much thought went in there,

  • Kotaku writers taking a leaf from Gizmodo US apparently. Really now, there’s a time and place for Apple idolatry and this isn’t it.

    “But oops, here comes Apple using lovely mobile hardware that is fast approaching Good Enough status for even “real” computing in their mobile hardware.”

    1) Apple is one of Intel’s biggest customers ever since macs have gone the intel route.
    2) The current IOS device processors are produced by Samsung, a company Apple is rapidly burning bridges with and their business relationship has soured with Apple’s recent patent suits.
    3) Apple will never go Qualcomm with their portable devices because there will then be 0 differentiation between them and their Android competitors who always bring more to the hardware table.

    What a dumb article.

    • But but but…it’s Apple and they’re oh so glorious and wise…only a company like Apple has been able to revolutionise putting people over a barrel and dry-docking them and making them pay above and beyond top dollar for it.

  • Fantastic article Joel, it’s refreshing to have such a rational discussion of this topic. 99.9% of people in the world simply don’t want to make decisions about the computers they buy and use, and nor should they have to – they want professionals to make those decisions for them. The remaining sliver have the time and inclination to make those decisions themselves. The 64k question is are there enough of them out there for companies to continue supporting their hobby at the cost of producing products that have a bigger market?

    I like your car analogy – would it be worth Toyota, Mazda and Ford all getting together and going to the effort of making interchangable parts for their cars so that the extremely small percentage of people that care about how the detailed internal components of a car can customise everything?

    I’d be interested to know what percentage of “PC gamers” have no interest in customising their machine. Should ‘PC gamers’ really be called ‘Computer Hobbyists that play games’?

        • Positives and negatives of both sides? Really?

          Standardising the platform has no positives whatsoever for the consumer. It all stems from developers being lazy now that consoles are the big money makers. So the only true results of pandering to their laziness are higher prices and less innovation. One only needs to look at Apple to see that.

          To think otherwise is foolish.

          • Sorry I really don’t believe that developers are lazy, we are working harder than ever. It is bliss working on standardised platforms, standardisation breeds innovation because we have the time to focus on the creative aspect and less on technical issues. Which means better games and apps for consumers. (Better means more interesting, not one more shiny polygon, by the way)

          • So that’s why those developers did so well for all those years in the 90’s…

            Now that consoles are the big money makers developers just can’t be bothered spending the time on PC. That’s all it comes down to.

            And again, standardised may mean simpler for developers but the cost to consumers is ridiculous. Macs are standardised and everything is kept in-house but guess what, you have to pay a massive premium for it and what does it net you? A laptop/computer that cost you anywhere from $500-2000 more than it should’ve.

          • Yeah the 90’s were quite a different kettle of fish.

            haha ‘cant be bothered!’ how bout thinking of it from the other side of the table, it’s a bit more like ‘gee, I would sure like to eat tonight and pay my rent’

            But why are you so outraged at this cost issue? Firstly, the price is just simply not a problem, if it was a problem they wouldn’t be selling any. Secondly, regardless of price there is no alternative apart from possibly a Vaio that looks and feels nice. I’d happily pay a thousand dollars more for a computer that looked nice. (and as you might suspect, I don’t think nice means plastic covered in stickers with coloured coolant and neon lit fans, thank god most people don’t either).

            Are you by any chance someone that doesn’t like the Wii? 😛

          • Actually I love my Wii and use it more than my 360.

            Why shouldn’t I be outraged at the cost issue? There is no justification for it. Less for more is not a good thing for the consumer. But if you disagree then by all means do so. By the by I’m not really sure about your Vaio remark other than that it means your a person who is of the “form over function” mindset which in the realm of computer technology is nothing but hurtful to innovation.

          • This is one of those issues that comes up about kinect too, that there is no justification for the cost. The only justification for something’s cost is the willingness for a consumer to purchase the product at that cost. Do you think the cost of a diamond ring is a rip off?

            ‘Function over form’ is the old way of thinking about technology, its the way it always has been unfortunately and its why a large percentage of the population dislikes technology and dislikes dealing with it. Now, obviously not you, and not your friends and people like you. Not myself either. In the same way that Wii expanded the market of video games by appealing to people who didnt like games, technology like smartphones and computers needs to do the same thing. It’s not to the detriment of the other people, so don’t stress. They are still making Skyrim even though Wii Fit was popular.

          • Everything you said makes absolutely no sense.

            One, the diamond ring analogy was irrelevant. Two, the kinect is function over form as was the Wii.

            “Form over function” means looks over abilities. It seems you think it means something else.

  • It seems like a lot of the people who comment on these sorts of articles have a similar sentiment to this comment. Why are you all so outraged? Because people could be paying less money to have a ‘more powerful’ computer? I could buy a Hyundai Getz for 20 grand, spend 20 grand on the engine and have a WAY more powerful car than a 100 grand Audi. Does that mean I should be outraged that people buy Audi’s?

    Of course by saying this I’ll be branded as a ‘fanboy’, because thats an excellent way for you to diffuse the effort of thinking about it objectively, but Apple has revolutionised computers because it makes computers for people who dont give a shit about computers. Which is most of us. I work in the games industry. I use a computer all day everyday. I dont care about it in the slightest, it is no more than a pencil to me, its simply a tool to get the job done If it turns on when I press the button, then thats the extent of the thought I give it.

    The people who tinker with computers just need to accept that most people simply don’t want to. Why is that a bad thing? Can’t you just enjoy your hobby? Mechanics don’t get shitty because people buy cars and don’t care that they could spend 3000 dollars less and get a car with 15 more horsepower. Most people buy cars because of things like ‘they like how they look’ or ‘its nice to drive’. Computers are finally going to be treated the same way, mass market products that people have to think less about.

    There will always be a market for what PC’s has always stood for, I dare say everyone just needs to stress less and not be so damn worried all the time.

      • The only thing I agree with you on is arguing without insults and arguing objectively.
        I don’t think you can compare buying a Hyundai Getz or an Audi to PCs, because there will always be something pre-made from the manufacturer in the car. PCs can be made by the consumer from scratch, right down to the most miniscule item like a cable.
        I think the enthusiast market can still exist , like it does with cars. There are companies who work on aftermarket parts and allow you to customise your car to a certain extent. I think the idea of comparing cars to PCs is ridiculous because, you can’t make a car from scratch but you can a PC. Back to the Hyundia-Audi comparision, there are other things about the Audi that make it cost more. It looks better, it’s more comfortable in it’s ride and interior, it drives better etc. All comparable things in a PC can be changed, a custom PC doesn’t have a singular brand name.

        You mention that you “sure would like to eat tonight and pay my rent” but than you say that you would happily pay a thousand dollars more for a computer that ‘looked’ better. This doesn’t make sense.

        You also generalise the enthusiast PC crowd by giving the impression they all like ” plastic covered in stickers with coloured coolant and neon lit fans”. First, this is one of the many good things about being able to build a PC from scratch (individuality). The second point I want to make is, not every enthusiast PC gamer likes those things. Some prefer simple cases with a beast inside.

        After reading your comment “There will always be a market for what PC’s has always stood for, I dare say everyone just needs to stress less and not be so damn worried all the time.”, I realised I wasted my time in writing this post.

        • This has got to be the funnest post ever to comment on, well done Joel!

          I understand your point about being able to build the PC right from scratch which is something much much more difficult to do with a car. Can be done of course, but good luck getting past rego 😛 Of course all design is subjective, but I’d argue that in the case of the Audi it’s obviously analogous to a macbook in the analogy, you simply cannot buy a computer chassis anywhere that has the same quality of machining or materials, and of course that’s why it costs more in same way as the quality of the components in the Audi cost more.

          Do you mean that you disagree that there will always be a market for computers that allow complete customisation?

          • No no, I realised my whole post was pointless because you sum up my main point in that sentence. I was agreeing with you and realised we have similar ideas.

        • You mention that you “sure would like to eat tonight and pay my rent” but than you say that you would happily pay a thousand dollars more for a computer that ‘looked’ better. This doesn’t make sense.

          My point here mate is that obviously a company is going to make products for a more lucrative market. Perhaps instead of eating and paying rent I should have said ‘keeping our shareholders happy’. Fortunately the company I work for is smart and makes products for standardised systems so I can buy both dinner and nice looking things 😀

  • Oh dear, Chazz and I have out run the reply length

    The diamond ring shows that people will value something for its beauty, its “function” is its social function, not a physical one when its stuck on a ring. In the same way I will pay good money for the chassis of a macbook over the alternatives.

    Kinect wasn’t to do with form/function. It was referring to the previous post here on Kotaku about its perceived value, was quite highly commented on so I thought you might have read it.

    Form means more than just looks, its look and feel.

    • You’re comparing social status related to a functionless object with technology. This leads to the problem that Apple brings to the table. The problem that stems from standardisation. The focus becomes social status over anything else and people like yourself prefer that for some unknown reason. If it’s pretty what does it matter if it is sub-par technology. That is the mindset your preferred standardisation brings. Promoting that will lead to the death of games and technology in general and nothing more.

      • And you’re assuming that all function must be technical, and devaluing the values that most of society values.

        Yes, I prefer a computer that looks nice and does what I need it to do. Is that actually such a difficult concept to grasp? To return to our previous analogy, you are like a mechanic saying he doesn’t understand why people prefer to just get in their car each morning and drive to work instead of caring that they could of paid slightly less to get a more powerful engine. Even worse, they care what it looks like! Why is it that people really into PC’s are so horrified that people care what things look like?..

        You heard it here first people, games and technology are doomed. I think what’ll you’ll find is that more people in the world than ever will play games and use technology, and very few of them will give a rats arse about the intricate technical details of how they are doing it, that’s for people like you to enjoy, so enjoy it! I don’t see why everyone shouldnt be happy.

        • No, I’d be like a mechanic saying sure you can have your Ferrari but here’s a car that for 1/3 the price is just as fast and far more efficient with fuel oh and with a little extra spent it can look very nice.

          Your line of thinking doesn’t lead to change in terms of innovation, it leads to change in terms of higher cost for a lower result.

          • “hmm, tempting, but I enjoy how my Ferrari feels to sit in and drive. The interior is made by the same people that made the exterior, and I dont really care about going fast anyway I just want to go to the shops in something that looks nice straight off the floor- I dont have time to customise a car to look nice”

            Yep, that’s how we think. I know you loathe it haha 😀

          • That is how you think and that line of thinking when it comes to computers is in direct contest with innovation.

            Computers are a unique market and standardisation combined with form over function has been proven to ignore innovation completely yet for some reason people like yourself seem to not care even though it is at the cost of everything that computer technology stands for.

          • Perhaps you see innovation as primarily advances in technology power, I see innovation as primarily advances in human/technology interaction.

          • Human/technology interaction? Oh you mean like how Apple takes control away from the user and decreases the abilities of their tech in the guise of being user-friendly?

  • “Console games look close enough to PC games, despite PC gaming hardware being 10 times as computationally powerful.”

    I’m sorry Joel Johnson but console ports don’t look ‘close enough’ to PC games. I was playing Portal 2 co-op with my brother, he was on the PS3 which is hooked up to a 1080p Sony LED tv and I was on my PC. After playing Portal 2 on PC (in 1920X1080 with all settings at maximum and vsync disabled) I couldn’t watch my brother playing the game on PS3 without thinking about how bad it looks in comparision. The resolution was much lower , the framerate was terrible (in comparision) , the loading times were much greater and it just looked bad in general (remember, in comparision).
    Killzone 3, a game which is meant to be the best looking FPS on PS3, isn’t anywhere near as good looking as even Modern Warfare 2 on PC. There is aliasing everywhere, the textures don’t look good and it only runs at 30fps! Thirty frames per second is bordering on unplayable in the PC gaming space.

    I am not a PC elitist, I own a PS3 and a Xbox 360. My favorite platform to game on is the PS3, because I just put a game in and it works and I get to sit/lie on the couch rather than sitting up right in a chair. But learning how to build a PC and being able to tinker with it was one of the best things I have ever done.

  • Lol what a bunch of bullcrap.

    PC Gaming is dying, yes, I mean, there’s only like, 4 million people connected on Steam at peak times.

    I mean, it’s not like the indie game creation business is blooming or that we just got brand new technologies in our computers that we never thought we’d ever see even 5 years ago (surround gaming, 3D vision, etc.)

    Thankfully, Razer is here to save the day with some overpriced piece of crap “gaming laptop” and bloody idiots writing trollbaiting articles- oh bloody hell I fell right in the trap. Well played.

  • i think razer has just shown a new level of innovation, the razer blade is designed for gamers by gamers. its designed in a way that gamers get the portability for on the go, its specs are made around portability, razer stated that it’s not the most powerful laptop computer but it is one of the most portable laptops in the world comparing it against any of the alienware laptops out there in its class which are more than double the height and double the weight, i think it’s also smaller in height compared to the macbook pro as well.

    It’s meant to be something new, a jump start back to PC gaming, and i do believe that portable laptop gaming has died, they don’t really innovate them anymore, laptops i see these days are just bulky looking although powerful, no company has really made an effort to change that, not until now. With a designed touch pad which can act as a secondary screen this is really innovation.

    Razer blade has a set hardware of 8gbs of ram, a powerful discreet graphics card, a quality 2nd gen i7 2.8 GHz CPU and best of all its all portable its light and isn’t too heavy either. You try finding a specs close to this and it would cost you roughly the same amount of more and don’t forget trying to find something with its dimensions.

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