Hardware manufacturer AMD today unveiled a new plan to simplify the process of determining PC gaming system requirements for mainstream consumers.
Titled AMD Game!, the program will allow gamers to purchase hardware which meets a certain set of minimum requirements. New systems and parts will be labeled with AMD Game! or AMD! Game Ultra badges, meant to inform customers that the machine can capably play "today's games."
"We're trying to help people identify PCs that are really ready to play the latest games," AMD desktop gaming strategist Brent Barry explained to Shacknews. "Basically, to bring a little bit of that console-like simplicity to the mainstream gamers."
Those who buy the AMD Game! certified systems will then be assured a standard of performance when playing recently released games. The company plans to update the specifications every six months to keep in line with current industry trends, though the name of the labels will remain the same.
"We looked at a couple of different ways that we could try to identify what you needed," said Barry. "One idea was essentially to do an AMD Game! 1, AMD Game! 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and keep going like that. Another one was to do AMD Game! 2007, AMD Game! 2008, AMD Game! 2009, those kinds of things."
"At the end of the day, we decided all of those pieces ended up increasing complexity," added Barry. "We make it really easy for [the mainstream] to identify a gaming PC. It's not just that we love capital letters and exclamation marks, which we obviously do."
Though not affiliated with the PC Gaming Alliance, members such as Microsoft, Alienware and Acer are involved in the initiative.
Barry elaborated on the decision to act outside of the PCGA: "It's not really about the PC Gaming Alliance not picking it up. We have our own set of goals and objectives and we want to try and solve this problem right away. We don't want to have to deal with the... we know we can move fast because we don't have to do the politics, we know what we need to do because we can go ahead and run with this hardware."
Select retailers will begin selling AMD! Game-labeled hardware in North America beginning today. Look below for the current AMD Game! specifications.
Minimum 30FPS performance at 1280 x 1024 for tested games.
-AMD Athlon X2 process 5600+
-ATI Radeon HD 3650
-AMD 770 chipset or Nvidia nForce 500 series chipset
AMD Game! Ultra
Minimum 30FPS at 1600 x 1200 for tested games.
-AMD Phenom X4 9650
-ATI Radeon HD 3870
-AMD 770 chipset
Tested games: Enemy Territory: Quake Wars, Half-Life 2: Episode Two, World of Warcraft, Lineage II, Sins of a Solar Empire, Command and Conquer 3 Tiberium Wars, Sims 2 Deluxe, Zoo Tycoon 2