Hewlett-Packard acquires VoodooPC

Hewlett-Packard acquires VoodooPC

Vendor to make a play for the lucrative personalised high-end PC gaming segment

Hewlett-Packard (HP) is hoping to take a big share of the lucrative high-end gaming PC market by acquiring specialist brand VoodooPC.

No financial details have been released, but the deal is expected to be completed by November. It should give HP an instant presence in the personalised, high-end PC segment. HP said that following the transaction it will form a separate business unit in its Personal Systems Group (PSG) that is devoted to the gaming industry. VoodooPC co-owner Rahul Sood will become chief technologist of the unit, while his brother and fellow co-owner Ravi Sood will become director of strategy and marketing.

The deal mirrors Dell’s take-over of leading high-end gaming house Alienware in March. High-end and enthusiast PCs are one of the few PC sectors still making decent margins. The direct vendor’s take-over of Alienware was positioned as a ‘hands off’ buy, in which Dell said it would not change the way Alienware did business or its product line-up. The HP take-over will be a much closer affair, with HP giving VoodooPC full access to its R&D facilities and technologies.

“HP is already a market leader in two of the three major segments in the gaming market, providing industry-leading workstation solutions for game development and powering the largest online game services,” claimed Todd Bradley, executive vice-president, PSG at HP. “We’re thrilled to welcome VoodooPC, gaming industry pioneer and the premier name in gaming, to the HP team. With VoodooPC’s leadership and influence, HP will have the expertise to become the leader in the gaming customer segment.”

Rahul Sood said: “Our passion has been to design the highest performance, personalised PCs. Our customers should continue to expect the highest level of personalised configurations, service and quality. The benefits of this acquisition to VoodooPC are immense, not least of which is having a direct conduit to HP’s unparalleled innovation and international presence.”

HP said it has no immediate plans to change Voodoo’s distribution model, brand name, sales, marketing, support and development operations.

To highlight its increased focus on the consumer and entertainment space, HP launched a series of products boasting the first high-definition (HD) DVD movie drives. They include the luxury 17in HP Pavilion dv9000t entertainment notebook, the Pavilion Media Center TV m7600n PC with 7.1 surround sound and an external HD-DVD drive.