Gaming-centric Dell subsidiary Alienware has hinted at a potential diversification away from pre-built systems and into individual components - though, general manager Frank Azor explains, such a move would only be made if the company can 'do it better' than the competition.
Founded in 1996 as Sakai of Miami by Nelson Gonzalez and Alex Aguila, changing its name to Alienware a year later to reflect its founders' shared love of science fiction, Alienware was acquired by box-shifter Dell in 2006 following a failure to gain traction in the pre-built gaming PC sector with its own-brand XPS systems. After a brief period of running the two divisions side-by-side, the XPS desktops were retired in favour of having Alienware as the sole gaming desktop division - though XPS and Alienware laptops still go head-to-head.
Since its founding and acquisition, Alienware has concentrated almost exclusively on pre-built desktops, laptops, and branded peripherals - aside from a brief flirtation with console-hybrid systems under the Alienware Alpha brand, a monitor line, and the release of the Alienware Graphics Amplifier external GPU (eGPU) box in 2014. Now, though, the company appears to be flirting with the idea of launching own-brand components for system builders and upgraders - though only if it can beat the competition.
'It's absolutely a segment of the market that we are looking at,' claimed Alienware general manager Frank Azor in conversation with PCGamesN recently. 'On the component side, it hasn’t been a primary focus for us yet, because we struggled to really come up with ways we can do it better. What we don’t want to do is just put our name on something. The Alienware name comes with a brand promise, and if we don't deliver on that promise to customers consistently, they’re going to stop trusting the Alienware brand.'
Azor did not, however, indicate whether the company's desire to branch out is near-term or further-future thing.