Tuesday , August 22 2017

Ausdroid’s chat with Joe Olmsted – Director of Product Development at Alienware and Inspiron Gaming

As part of our Computex trip this week we’ve had the privilege of getting access to some of the latest and greatest products launched by a number of manufacturers as well as today getting access to some of the big players inside Dell.

Joe Olmsted was good enough to offer us some of his time today to talk about his role and the products in his portfolio: Alienware and Inspiron Gaming.

Due to the high level of ambient noise in the Dell Suite at the time, it wasn’t practical to record this interview.

We spoke to Joe about his role within Dell some of the products, their lifecycle and expectations from within Dell as well as external pressures on the Alienware brand.

One of the biggest stand out comments for me from this discussion was the fact that Joe sees himself and his team as advocates for the consumer. They take the feedback they get through distribution channels as well as direct customer feedback and take that to the design table then argue for the wants and needs of the high paying customers.

Having said that he went on to elaborate that essentially gamers are boring…
By this he doesn’t mean that they don’t do anything, but rather that they want the bleeding edge of “tried and proven” technology. So this leaves Alienware as a company a very fine line to walk with regards to design and a continuity of service when it comes to using accessories from one system to another.

Talking to a few friends in the gaming world about this trip, there was a fairly common question on how someone lands a job like Director of Product development for one of the biggest gaming brands in the world so I asked.

Like many people working in the gaming industry, Joe started young and never really grew out of it. Some basic consoles (pre-NES) and many hours later he was hooked, but it was when he switched to PC gaming and never looked back that the console world. This passion for PC gaming led to a personal acquaintance who had started working for Alienware already poaching him from his employer of the time and the rest as they say, is history.

I’m so lucky, this really is the best job in the world

I’ve certainly heard it and Joe acknowledged the fact that Alienware is a top flight, top dollar product that while others may want it…they can’t afford it. He gave the analogy that “If you buy a BMW you expect leather seats, if you get cloth then you’re going to feel pretty ripped off” and I like that because it sets a clear standard of where Alienware is.

But that’s also where the Inspiron Gaming desktop announced Tuesday during their press conference comes into play.

The Inspiron Gaming desktop is no slouch, it’s versatile in terms of upgradability allowing for a system that suits all levels of gamers from the casual through to the hardcore, allowing them to get the performance they want from a system at the price they can afford.

One thing that really did make me smile looking at the range of mid to high end desktops and laptops at the Computex show, was the high portion of them that support USB Type C. It showed me that the future is here and Dell are leading the way to a seamlessly connected lifestyle.

Phil traveled to Computex in Taipei as guest of Dell Australia.

 

Phil Tann   Journalist

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