I've been meeting with AMD a lot these days; in fact, one day last week I actually had to reschedule two separate AMD meetings because I was playing host to a few reps from, uh, AMD. With all of the negativity surrounding Phenom and a relatively quiet graphics division, it's tough to remember that I was actually excited about the ATI acquisition back when it happened. These days AMD is beginning to take shape as a total platform provider, thus when I talk to them it can be about everything from CPUs and chipsets to graphics - hence the plethora of meetings.

AMD has all of the ingredients to be a major player in the PC business. It arguably produces the best integrated graphics chipset around, is at least competitive on the discrete graphics front and, well, produces x86 CPUs. And today AMD is attempting something very industry leader-like.

AMD views the PC gaming market as consisting of three segments: casual gamers, mainstream gamers and the enthusiasts. Casual gamers are the largest portion of the market and generally play things like Solitaire or online Flash games. The Enthusiast market is dominated by those who are already investing in good gaming PCs and have some of the highest requirements for performance/visual quality. The mainstream gaming market, however, is composed of those users who want to play more demanding games on their PCs but aren't always aware of what they need to do so.

In order to help address the needs of this mainstream gaming market, AMD has established a new logo program called AMD GAME!. The idea behind AMD GAME! is to guarantee that anyone buying a PC with this logo will have a good overall gaming experience with it.

The AMD GAME! Requirements
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  • Locutus465 - Monday, May 19, 2008 - link

    If AMD works more closely with Microsoft's games for windows inititive actually I think the majority of the real pc gaming issues will be solved (regardless of our personal opinion's about DRM)....

    One interesting solution might be, extend the Vista DRM system to include game content protection, make sure there's a good disaster recovery senerio in place. Something akin to what microsoft does with Zune or apple does with iTunes, i.e. DRMed content can be (re)activated on your PC as long as you can authenticate that your PC is an autherized machine. That way you don't loose all your save games etc should you decide to upgrade your motherboard (as I did recently) there by invalidating your system's DRM.
    Reply
  • brian_riendeau - Monday, May 19, 2008 - link

    Well they already shot themselves in the foot with this one by designating one of the specs to already be "ULTRA". I think they would have been better off with simple AMD Game 1.0, 2.0... Also I think everyone can remember how AMD Live was supposed to be a good idea and that failed too. Reply
  • Staples - Monday, May 19, 2008 - link

    Windows Vista's hardware assessment numbers are still a much better indication of performance than AMD's certification. I think Vista's performance numbers should include more detailed info than they currecntly do but as small as they are now, they still provide better info than "AMD Game Ultra." Reply
  • chick0n - Monday, May 19, 2008 - link

    AMD Game? no Thx, After they screwed me over in the 4x4 crap?

    AMD has this problem as they just do some paper launch, get the media attention they want, then they will turn around and completely ignore their promises. Look at 4x4.

    Im still using my 4x4 but, not gonna count on anything AMD announce.
    Reply
  • Locutus465 - Monday, May 19, 2008 - link

    I'm sorry... But you're complaining about paper launches due to how you were screwed with 4x4 and then talking about how you're actually still using the platform? Comon now... If you're using the HW in your home right now then it wasn't a paper launch was it? Reply
  • tayhimself - Monday, May 19, 2008 - link

    AMD is now a chartware powerhouse. The merger with ATI has taken their chartware to unprecedented heights.
    DO NOT WANT!!!
    Reply
  • Noya - Monday, May 19, 2008 - link

    I wish Anandtech would disclose how much they're paid for each "article"...right next to the "authors" name. Just like presidential candidates should have to disclose every bit of cash they get. Reply
  • chizow - Monday, May 19, 2008 - link

    To be fair, AT also did a piece on NV's ESA certification branding, which isn't much more exciting.

    Anand is certainly entitled to any perks he gets from running a great site, but ya I would've rather seen this space filled with RV770 specs and discussion.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Monday, May 19, 2008 - link

    It's something pertinent to computer enthusiasts, so we discussed it. If Intel comes out with their alternative to "GAME!" tomorrow, we'd likely have an article on that as well. It's part of covering the computer technology market.

    I can tell you how much companies have paid me for my articles since starting with AnandTech: $0. The same goes for the rest of us. Advertising is totally separate, and I don't even pay attention to what's there (like most readers I'm sure). About the only perk (other than paychecks from AnandTech) is getting to play with some of the latest and greatest hardware -- and working from home. Those are, of course, pretty huge perks. :-)

    Personally, static definitions for the gaming market are way too complex IMO. What would be far better is if gaming companies would get on board with these definitions. Then we could have AMD (or Intel) release basic levels like "Game! - Mainstream 2007", "Game! - Performance 2007", etc. and update those each year. "Game! - Performance 2007" may end up being about the same as "Game! - Mainstream 2008", but as long as the box points at a specific specification users should be better off.

    Frankly, the current "This game requires a DX9 card with 128MB RAM" is woefully inadequate. I like the theory of what AMD is doing; it's getting representation for lots of other games into the mix that concerns me. HL2 EP2 isn't nearly as demanding as Crysis or World in Conflict - or several other titles we could list. Don't even get me started on including WoW, Zoo Tycoon 2, Sims 2, and Sins of a Solar Empire -- those are fine games for a lot of people (although I only play Sins much), but all should run fine on pretty moderate hardware. We also don't know what settings they're using; Sins at minimum details is different than Sins at maximum details for example.

    What I'd really love is to see CrossFire and SLI support that actually fully work out of the box without a driver update and without tweaking any profiles or renaming an executable. But that's a different market segment.
    Reply
  • ap90033 - Thursday, May 22, 2008 - link

    You go Jarred! You guys do a wonderful job and I appreciate all the information you pass along to us. Reply

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