Multimedia PC component distributor Creative Pacific last week announced the launch of its second generation BlasterPC, a high-end product targeted at gamers and the increasing interest in the convergence of personal digital entertainment.
Going for a new "stealth" look, Creative's BlasterPC Mark II is all black and comes in four configurations including Celeron 366 and two PIII options. As well as the latest graphic acceleration and multipoint speaker systems from the Creative range, all the Mark II models include Sound Blaster Live! audio which is now built into the motherboard.
"We are moving into that living room," said Kamil Gurgen, Creative Pacific's national marketing manager. "The convergence of computer and loungeroom entertainment is what the whole Creative organisation is working towards. We are striving for a new world of personal visual entertainment.
"We will be offering a good percentage off to dealers who want to run a demo PC in their stores and we have some new information, brochures and other marketing paraphernalia to support it," Gurgen added.
The BlasterPCs also include infrared remote control and can be built with all, or some of the range of Creative brand components such as AM/FM tuner, video-CD, DVD, audio-CD and Virtual Mouse.
Starting at $3799 for the Celeron 366 system, a fully optioned top-of-the-range Blaster PC will come in at a tick under $5500.
Gurgen said the BlasterPC concept, launched last year, has been new territory for Creative Pacific. "It was a good start," he said. "We learnt a lot about the PC market in relation to getting price and configurations right.
"The first stage was mainly about telling the market the product is there. We are now much better tuned in with this latest product."
By focusing on making the home computer a gaming, video and audio entertainment unit, there is no doubt Creative is developing new markets for the PC. Additionally, the products are also being sold on the Net, but, Gurgen said: "Even then we will be going through dealers".
Gurgen added that as well as traditional computer retail outlets, the new BlasterPCs would be sold in some new areas. "We are talk- ing to all home entertainment retailers with this product," he said.
The Creative Technologies organisation which Creative Pacific is connected to is using Australia as a test-bed for this home entertainment PC concept, according to Gurgen.
"We are in some kind a pilot at the moment for Creative," he said. "The product has been dabbled with in Brazil where there has been enormous success and we have also sold it through a Web site in Singapore.
"Australia is probably the third country and the US is watching what happens here very closely," he added.