Visit the HP booth at CES this year and you can't help but fall over squadrons of HP's Blackbird 002 gaming systems. The good news for people wanting an extreme, off-the-shelf gaming system is that they'll be coming here later in the year.
Philip McKinney, vice president and CTO of HP's Personal Systems Group, said that the Blackbird 002 PC would be available globally sometime in 2008 -- in addition to a new lineup of HP gaming machines including a laptop.
However, he added that the company's gaming division, of which the Blackbird and US-only Voodoo products are a part, is a little bit of a misnomer. He reckons that only 25 per cent of customers use the Voodoo machine for gaming, for example.
"One of the largest orders for the Blackbird was by the US Navy Seals -- I'm not sure what they use it for", McKinney said.
But he went on to stress the company's gaming credentials: "We are the number one workstation for game developers... and we are the number one blade server for online games", he said.
The liquid-cooled, quad-core Blackbird 002 system retails for approximately US$5900 with local pricing yet to be announced.
In other news, the company has also announced an update to its touchscreen tablet line -- the HP Pavilion tx2000, and the HP Pavilion Slimline s3300 which offers a dual-format Blu-ray and HD-DVD and "funky" covers.
HP also announced a truckload of media streaming devices and TVs which probably won't come to Australia this year.
These include Mediasmart TVs (with no plans to come at all, according to McKinney), a standalone Digital Media Receiver and a MediaSmart NAS-like server with five removable drives.
The Blackbird 002 system is loin stirring, to say the least.
The TX2000 has been updated.