HP Hits Gaming, Multimedia With Product Launch

September 17th, 2007 |
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The HP Personal Systems Group recently unveiled its 2008 product line at a celebrity-studded event at Skylight Studios, in Manhattan (and yes, that’s “personal” as in, The Computer is Personal Again). In addition to HP’s new iPAQ handheld communications devices, its MediaSmart PC and MediaSmart Server, and a new line of laptops optimized for multimedia use — already enough newsworthy stuff to keep customers, bloggers and investors talking for awhile — the announcement included HP’s entry into the gaming enthusiast market, with the Blackbird 002.

In September 2006, when HP acquired VoodooPC and brought VoodooPC Founder Rahul Sood on as chief technology officer for HP’s Global Gaming Business, the wheels were set in motion for HP to make bold statement in the gaming space. Sood explains what’s been going on behind the curtain for the last 12 months here, but the bottom line is that the “symbolic” partnership between Voodoo and HP has, by many accounts, not only marked HP’s entry into gaming with a splash, but raised the bar for the gaming PC industry, from the Blackbird 002’s high-performance engineering to the kind of design that has some comparing it with some stylish competitors.

On hand for the announcement were the celebrity “achievers” who have made their “faceless” statements in television advertisements spotlighting the adaptability and versatility of HP’s personal computing technology, including Olympic Gold Medalist Snowboarder Shaun White, Tennis Pro and fashion designer Serena Williams, supermodel Petra Nemcova and The Orange County Choppers, all of whom took a few moments to speak with PodTech’s Catherine Girardeau about HP and the role of personal media technology in their lives. Each of them, in their own way, embodies the event’s theme — “Your Life is the Show.”

The hopping party also provided a chance for press and enthusiasts to hear from several HP Personal Systems Group execs, including Satjiv Chahil, senior vice president of global marketing and Todd Bradley, executive vice president; Rahul Sood, CTO for HP Gaming (and founder of VoodooPC), and Phil McKinney, vice president and CTO for the Personal Systems Group and general manager of HP’s Gaming Business Unit.

Responses to the announcements have come from around the globe — in Britain, one blogger named Dave acknowledging, “This is not just any PC. This is the Blackbird 002,” while in Florida, Mark N. writes about the new PC with a simple, “Now that’s what I’m talking about.”

But the announcement wasn’t all about the gaming PC — it was also about building community around HP’s efforts in multimedia. Philip Churchill notes, on his blog, that in addition to the MediaSmart Server unveiled at the event, HP is supporting it with a “community for enthusiasts [of the server] to share information, offer support, and enjoy the product together.”

In addition to the PodTech video, photos from the event can be found here.

Director of Photography: San Key Sa

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