After some industry comments that Intel is killing PC gaming, it looks like AMD is stepping up to save it. Epic’s Mark Rein fingered Intel’s integrated graphics chips for being their standard for low-end systems. Any PC gamer can attest: those things stink on fire. Try to run a game on them and they crash and burn; try to upgrade with a decent — or even a low-end — video card and it will almost always have issues with the integrated chip. They could pack a low-end video card instead and give people a chance to enjoy PC gaming.
Of course, Mark Rein (as Joystiq points out) works at a company devoted to the graphics gods; every system that isn’t a Quad-Quad-Quad-Quadtronic slab o’power is a system that won’t look as good on an Epic game.
Now, yahoo tells us that AMD is deep in to buy ATI, which blows the whole thing into low-earth orbit where it can heckle Intel safely. Intel won’t be able to negotiate a position with either graphics company at the best price now. If AMD decides to put a cheap, upgrade friendly card in every system Intel will have to go to Nvidia or go home. AMD has been the choice for gamers for quite some time, but this could be the point where they become the choice for casual shoppers and then turn them into gamers.
Add in Microsoft’s PC gaming push, which is a blog for a day when I own a digital camera to take pictures of their eerie shrine-building in local stores and marts, and it’s an interesting week for nerds coming up.