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PC Gaming Alliance debuts

Activision, AMD, Dell, Intel, Microsoft, and Nvidia co-found nonprofit dedicated to "advancing the PC as a worldwide gaming platform."

SAN FRANCISCO--With consoles increasingly intruding on such hallowed ground as the real-time strategy genre, many PC gamers have adopted something of a siege mentality.

This defensive attitude is also apparently afflicting hardware manufacturers and software publishers, a number of which on Monday announced the formation of the PC Gaming Alliance.

The first body ever formed solely to promote the PC gaming industry, the PCGA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to "driving coordinated marketing and promotion of PC gaming...and creating forums for member companies to cooperate on solutions to challenges facing the PC gaming industry, such as hardware requirements and antipiracy."

Said member companies include PC hardware manufacturers Acer-Gateway, Dell-Alienware, Intel, and Advanced Micro Devices. AMD also owns ATI, a leading manufacturer of PC graphics cards, whose chief rival, Nvidia, is also on the PCGA board along with PC game peripheral company Razer USA. Rounding out the list are game developer Epic Games and the biggest third-party publisher on the planet, Activision.

Ironically, the maker of one of the consoles being blamed for cutting into the PC's market share is also on the PCGA's board. After spending billions on launching and promoting the Xbox 360, Microsoft has joined the board as part of its reinvigorated PC gaming initiative, Games for Windows.

The formation of the PCGA is drawing praise from some analysts covering the PC gaming market, which took in $911 million at U.S. retailers last year--a decline of 6 percent. "This collaboration will provide developers and publishers with a champion for consistent demographics, hardware adoption, and revenue measurement and reporting," DFC Intelligence David Cole said in a statement. "An authoritative source of information on the PC as a gaming platform will serve as an invaluable catalyst for growing the market and improving the consumers' PC gaming experience."

The announcement of the PCGA's formation was timed to coincide with this week's Game Developers Conference, where many of its member companies are touting their wares.

Tor Thorsen of GameSpot reported from San Francisco.