Alienware reveals portable gaming console at CES 2020

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Alienware debuts UFO portable gaming PC at CES 2020
Image: Alienware/Twitter

Dell subsidiary Alienware came to the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show with an unusual offering. The computer hardware company showed off a portable PC gaming console concept called the UFO. Although untested, the device might offer consumers a new option that bridges the mobile/home games divide.

Alienware UFO Details

While Alienware didn’t detail pricing, hardware specifications, or a release date for its portable PC concept at CES 2020, it did offer some information about the device.

The UFO is a Windows 10-powered console with a form factor that will be familiar to contemporary gamers. It features an 8-inch display and two detachable controllers that attach to its center section magnetically. The console also has dual analog sticks, a directional pad, twin triggers, and action buttons.

According to Endgadget, the UFO feels heavy but reassuringly sturdy.

Alienware’s concept device is reportedly capable of running Windows games at reported 30 frames per second in handheld mode. Moreover, the console has the capability to connect to a television, allowing it to function as a de facto home video system. Notably, the platform concept can reportedly run PC games at 60 frames per second when docked.

Alienware also designed a custom app that allows gamers to use the UFO with a simplified interface. Though the firm didn’t make a wide variety of games available at the event, the device handled the PC versions of “World War Z” and “F1 Racing” well.

Can Alienware’s UFO Succeed?

The UFO’s prospects for success are hard to predict, but it definitely has some potential.

Currently, the global gaming market generates billions of dollars in revenue every year. However, the industry suffers from a relative lack of dedicated portable hardware. Mobile gamers use their smartphones to play to a range of titles representing a slew of different genres all over the world. However, even the most powerful handsets have physical limitations that make them unsuitable for running graphics-intensive AAA titles.

Conversely, home console and PC gamers can play the world’s most immersive and technically sophisticated titles because their hardware can handle them. Furthermore, they have access to highly specialized controllers that allow for the precision gameplay demanded by eSports. But for all their complexity, home console and PC games aren’t easy to run on the go.

The UFO offers a potential bridge between the two worlds. Indeed, Nintendo has had great success with its hybrid Switch system. Moreover, Alienware’s concept could cater to gamers who prefer titles that feature more mature content than the “Super Mario” developer hosts.

The hardware company could have a major bestseller on its hands if it taps into an underserved gaming audience. Besides, the UFO’s design could appeal to consumers interested in a traditional controller scheme that isn’t offered by streaming platforms. Plus, Microsoft has a massive PC games library that would be available as soon as the concept makes its way to stores.

Like all prototype hardware, there’s no guarantee that Alienware’s UFO will ever be commercially released. However, given the potential offered by its portability and functionality, it’s a concept worth pursuing.

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