Friday, June 6, 2008

Minimum Bar Subcommittee Update: Establishing Guidelines for the PC Gaming Industry

As promised this is an update on the PCGA minimum bar subcommittee. I am excited to report that we have been making great progress as we work towards completing an encompassing set of Guidelines for the PC Gaming Industry. We have enjoyed lots of enthusiasm and strong participation from the PCGA membership.

The Sub Committee has formed 5 Working groups, each with a distinct deliverable to the formation of the final guideline.

1. Minimum Hardware Bar Work Group: Mission is to help define a starting point for a “Bag of Parts” that could possibly define the makeup of a minimum Gaming System. The preliminary list has been completed. Plans are being developed to build a number of these systems for testing purposes.

2. Performance Work Group: Mission is to help define a way to actually measure gaming performance and gaming experience. We have finalized our starting point and we are now preparing to test our theories by using the Min Hardware group systems in a validation and experience set of testing.

3. Validation Work Group: This group is putting together a validation plan that will utilize the systems that are being built by the Min Hardware group and use the output of the Performance group as a criteria to validate against. This test plan will also include usability testing as it applies to Gaming. The testing will become part of a feedback loop to help finalize the Minimum Hardware “Bag of Parts” and the accuracy of the Performance benchmarking proposals. The plan has been finalized and is waiting to be executed, as soon as the systems arrive.

4. Software Guideline Group: Hardware is not the full story to creating a solid PC Gaming customer experience. It has to work hand and hand with the software (OS and Games). A set of guidelines will be proposed for developers to follow to enable games to run at the Minimum Bar. The group has an initial outline and we are about to begin the review process within the team.

5. Utility Group: This work group will evaluate the need for a tool for customers/developers/OEMs that will help determine a systems’ ability to meet the minimum bar. The team has agreed to continue to pursue this idea. A proposal is being drafted for review.

As you can see, we have been quite busy, but much work remains to be done. We are as anxious as hopefully you are to see the results of this hard work begin to pay off for gamers, developers and the PC gaming industry as a whole. Please stay tuned and stay engage. We need your support!

The PCGA is also actively seeking membership from developer, publisher, IHV and PC OEM companies. As a PCGA member, you and your company will have the ability to network with the leaders in the PC gaming industry, participate in shaping the development and evolution of our work, and influence our strategy and direction. If you are interested in joining, please contact John Ehrig


Rick Carini
PCGA Chairman of the Board
PCGA Minimum Bar Subcommittee Chair