Acer eyes future desktop systems, including game machine

Over the next year, Taiwan-based notebook PC maker Acer will start to produce desktop units under the Acer brand...and a senior Acer official told BetaNews yesterday that a PC-based game machine is one of the ideas being bandied about.

NEW YORK CITY (BetaNews) - Right now, the Acer brand name is still equated with PC notebooks only, despite Acer's acquisition of Gateway. But in an interview with BetaNews at its press event on Wednesday, Acer's senior vice president, James T. Wong, said that his company has a game machine in mind, and that it will be based on "open standards."

"If you look at most of the other game machines that are out there right now -- Nintendo's, the Xbox -- they are 'closed' and proprietary systems," he told BetaNews.

Wong said that, beyond "openness," all of the Acer-branded systems being eyed right now, including the game machine, are envisioned as offering new and innovative form factors and applications.

In addition to its future Acer-branded desktop PCs, however, Acer will also provide desktop systems under the Gateway name, as well as under the eMachines and Packard Bell brands inherited through the Gateway buyout, according to the senior VP. The Acer, Gateway, eMachines, and Packard Bell desktop systems will each incorporate two separate line-ups, one for consumers and the other for SMBs (small to medium-sized businesses), he said.

During a press conference attended by BetaNews earlier on Wednesday, which focused mainly on Acer's notebook PC products and strategy, officials cited Gateway's expertise in desktop systems as a big reason for buying that company.

But Wong told BetaNews that Acer had already been making desktop PCs for other vendors, anyway, with desktop systems constituting some 30 percent of Acer's huge OEM business.

Acer, though, will not be offering either desktop or notebook PCs geared to enterprise use, at least for now, according to the executive.

"You need different kinds of resources for [enterprise systems], and we don't have those kinds of resources right now," he told BetaNews.

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