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Dell denies death of XPS to aid Alienware

One for custom jobs, the other for mass-produced systems

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Dell has denied that it plans to kill off the XPS gaming PC brand and promote its Alienware gaming PC subsidiary instead. Both names will "live on", it said last night.

That the PC giant intends to knock XPS on the head was suggested this week by the Wall Street Journal.

There's certainly cross-over between Alienware and XPS. Alienware was formed to create customised gaming PCs, but it's steadily extended itself into more mainstream markets - media centre systems, for instance.

Equally, the XPS line has grown from exclusively focusing on gaming to incorporate consumer-oriented laptops and all-in-one desktops, and systems for content creators. XPS was established before Dell acquired Alienware in 2006.

Alienware insiders indicate that the subsidiary is encouraging its new master to promote it as the group's gaming brand, but the Dell stance, posted on a company blog, suggests it's not entirely going to get its way.

"XPS gaming systems will remain an important part of our gaming product portfolio," blogger Anne Camden blogged. "We don't plan an early phase-out of these systems as the WSJ incorrectly stated, and in fact will continue to refresh them to keep them on the front edge of gaming."

Camden continued: "We are going to expand our focus on Alienware. We are going to invest like crazy in product development, design and engineering to propel Alienware as the premier gaming brand in the future."

Essentially, then, Alienware will continue to offer custom gaming systems, focusing on close co-operation with the customer for whom price is a secondary concern, while XPS will be used to offer rigs for gamers who want high performance, but don't want to spec out systems themselves or will accept a lesser machine for a lower price.

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