AMD announced today the introduction of a new program designed to help people shop for hardware that caters to gamers. The idea is to help the PC gaming market out in light of consoles quickly becoming the be all and end all for gamers. The GAME! Tag, similar to tags like "Centrino" and "Vista Capable", is intended to be placed onto a machine so that someone looking to buy a computer could simply recognize the GAME! logo and instantly know that AMD has certified it to be a suitable machine for play.
One of the biggest hurdles PCs face for people looking to game on them is the uncertainty in how well the machine will perform under stress. For enthusiasts like us, that's not a big deal - we know what the hardware does and we know what to expect. For many people looking to buy pre-built systems, they might plunk down $1200 on a new machine to discover it grinds to a halt when playing a new title.
As expected, the tag will only appear on systems featuring certain AMD components such as the Phenom, Athlon and Turion Ultra CPUs, a particular Radeon series GPU and, of course, AMD chipsets. But are those the best gaming choices nowadays? We won't complain about the Phenom or the mid-range Radeons, but as much as we like AMD, the budget Radeon HD 3650 they recommend on their base "Game" system is a ridiculous choice.
Interestingly, they cite some of their retailers as companies like Alienware. Rigs with the GAME! tag are set to begin appearing sometime later this year.