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Four Calling Birds, Three Turtle Doves, Two 256 Chips...

We're going to see a lot of system upgrades in December By Denise Harrison
I hope Microsoft, PC makers, component manufacturers and memory makers are grateful to you who spend you lives developing games. Every couple of years the bar is raised on system requirements and gamers flock to stores for upgrades or new PCs.

And here we go again. The 128 RAM and PII that were rocking just two years ago canít handle the upcoming pack of new online games and expansions. Witness Dark Age of Camelot and the upcoming Luclin expansion for EverQuest. Anyone with fewer than 512 RAM is going to be hurting.

Weíre talking about potentially millions of upgrade or new PC purchases in December alone.

Itís Sierraís fault. Really. Anyone remember Sierra Online? While it didnít have a lot of users compared to todayís standards, every time Sierra Online upgraded itís multi-user game, all the gamers had to upgrade their systems. Ken Williams, co-founder of Sierra, once told me he was responsible for a whole lot of PC sales, partly due to upgrades of what was basically the first graphic online multi-user game system.

The good news for now is that memory is super-duper cheap. A good shopper can get 512 installed for under $90 if they move fast. The amazing news is that only games, or digital content creation -- not business applications -- continues to drive the upgrade markets. And with a 17 percent growth projected next year, a good enough portion of it PC-based, PC system and components manufacturers should be helping game development companies any way they can.

This holiday season should be awesome for sales of games, PCs and upgrades and they have you to thank.

Whatís your take on the relationship between game developers and system manufacturers? Talk about it on our forum -- click the comments button below.

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