Menu
Dell believes VR will be as important as gaming to PCs

Dell believes VR will be as important as gaming to PCs

The company has no immediate plans to build a VR headset but may do so when it sees a market demand

Twenty years ago, Frank Azor and three other Alienware founders built and sold their first gaming PCs. Gaming was a niche market at the time, but two decades later, it's booming.

Virtual reality occupies a similar space as gaming for Azor, who is general manager for Alienware and XPS products at Dell. For him, VR is the future of PCs and will be as hot as gaming. Though full of promise, VR is still raw, however.

VR is important for Dell, but Azor doesn't want to rush in and then regret it. He's taking a measured approach to evaluating VR because problems with headsets and user experiences have yet to be resolved.

"There's so much to learn still. We don't want to be haphazard about jumping in and doing something careless and making some mistake," Azor said.

Dell has built Alienware PCs that run VR headsets like Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, and the company has made innovative products like backpack PCs for untethered VR. But Azor is not interested in building products unless they resonate with users.

Dell is in no hurry to build a VR headset. Top-rated VR headsets are already available, and Dell prefers partnerships to fill product gaps instead of wasting resources by unnecessarily building products.

"We, at this time, have no intention of creating our own head-mounted display," Azor said. "This could change in the future. At this time we want to see how the [VR] technologies evolve and where are going to be our opportunities for differentiation."

If Dell decides to slap an Alienware logo on a head-mounted display, it will do it using the exacting standards reflected in the gaming PCs, Azor said. The VR headset will have to outperform rivals, be innovative, have an iconic design, and will be built with high-quality standards. Moreover, the headset will need service offerings that make it unique.

Many issues need to be considered before building a headset, Azor said. Dell needs to know what makes a VR headset tick -- whether it's the ergonomics, size and weight, wire-free features, screen resolution, audio quality, industrial design, or cost.

Dell's stance is pragmatic considering several competitors are chasing VR and mixed reality headsets. Lenovo and Asus are making VR headsets, while Acer is partnering with a company called Starbreeze to design and market headsets. HP isn't planning a headset but is building a 3D computing strategy around 3D printers and interactive desktops like the Sprout.

Dell and HP are also selling workstations compatible with VR headsets for content creation.

Intel has shown a mixed reality headset called Project Alloy, which like Microsoft's HoloLens, mixes real worlds with virtual worlds. Intel and Microsoft will release tools for device makers to build headsets based on the Project Alloy design, though there are no takers yet. Azor's team has met with the Microsoft HoloLens group a few times, and the company is interested in the mixed reality usage model.

Dell started off as a company making PCs in a garage but has built up its creative portfolio with products like the Steam Machine, a SteamOS-based gaming console. But it has also experienced miscues with products like netbooks, tablets, and smartphones.

VR, in Azor's eyes, is not an overnight sensation. It'll drive computing and PCs for the next 20 years, he said.

"VR and mixed reality will be as important to our future as gaming and other use cases," Azor said.


Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Featured

Slideshows

Kiwi channel comes together for another round of After Hours

Kiwi channel comes together for another round of After Hours

The channel came together for another round of After Hours, with a bumper crowd of distributors, vendors and partners descending on The Jefferson in Auckland. Photos by Maria Stefina.​

Kiwi channel comes together for another round of After Hours
Consegna comes to town with AWS cloud offerings launch in Auckland

Consegna comes to town with AWS cloud offerings launch in Auckland

Emerging start-up Consegna has officially launched its cloud offerings in the New Zealand market, through a kick-off event held at Seafarers Building in Auckland.​ Founded in June 2016, the Auckland-based business is backed by AWS and supported by a global team of cloud specialists, leveraging global managed services partnerships with Rackspace locally.

Consegna comes to town with AWS cloud offerings launch in Auckland
Veritas honours top performing trans-Tasman partners

Veritas honours top performing trans-Tasman partners

Veritas honoured its top performing partners across the channel in Australia and New Zealand, recognising innovation and excellence on both sides of the Tasman. Revealed under the Vivid lights in Sydney, Intalock claimed the coveted Partner of the Year 2017 (Pacific) award, with Data#3 acknowledged for 12 months of strong growth across the market. Meanwhile, Datacom took home the New Zealand honours, with Global Storage and Insentra winning service provider and consulting awards respectively. Dicker Data was recognised as the standout distributor of the year, while Hitachi Data Systems claimed the alliance partner award. Photos by Bob Seary.

Veritas honours top performing trans-Tasman partners
Show Comments