Editor’s note: Ryan Smith is a longtime gamer and freelance writer who lives in Raleigh, NC. A graduate of East Carolina University with a degree in business and marketing, he has written in the past for WRAL Tech Wire and GameArgus.com. He currently plays Xbox 360 and PC as well as Nintendo DS. For story ideas, tips and feedback, he can be reached via e-mail (ryannicksmith@gmail.com)

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – PC Manufacturers are not looking to the future with much hope. HP, one of the giants, just announced it would no longer be in the PC manufacturing business. Apple is taking hold of computer manufacturing and gaming consoles have seen a massive increase over PC gaming.

Razer has taken all this upon their shoulders to give us this: The Blade.

A massively powerful yet fairly lightweight laptop – weighing around 7 lbs- featuring a 17 inch lcd screen, an Intel i7 processor, 8gb of DDR3 RAM, a 320GB HD and built in Wi-Fi, the Razer blends portability and performance like no other.

Also the Blade features “Switchblade User Interface”, Razer’s award winning, intuitive interface technology. Switchblade is comprised of 10 dynamic adaptive tactile keys for easier access of in-game commands, as well as an LCD capable of two modes: one mode that displays in-game information when using a mouse while the other mode that functions as an ultra-sensitive, multi-touch panel designed for gaming on the go.

However all this comes at a cost, a very high cost, of $2,800 when it is released later this year. Razer has said “PC gaming is not dead” and I agree. However PC gaming has been on such a decline over the last few years because of accessibility. It is far easier to pick up a $300 console and a few $60 games than it is to purchase a real gaming PC for around $800-1000, plus cost of games which still run $50-60 for PC.

For a while 7th gen consoles such as Xbox360 and PS3 have had roughly the graphical equivalent of your standard gaming PC, so with the price difference, PC gaming had no real pull for me. Sure, having a mouse and keyboard is way better for shooters and RTS games, but not $700 better.

For me, the reason I finally went back to PC gaming is not only did I finally have enough cash to really build a gaming rig that puts out the performance I wanted, but also there are finally some PC worthy games on its way such as Rift, StarWars: TOR, Diablo 3 and more. Games you simply can’t or do not want to play on a console.

For me, a $2,800 laptop is massively expensive, but if I did have the money, it sounds absolutely fabulous to have that kind of performance in such a portable case. Gaming on the go, without losing the performance of your desktop machine is highly appealing.

As impressive as this machine is, with such a high price I am unsure if it can “save PC gaming”. PC is truly not dead, but it is ever becoming more of a niche market. Can such a high price machine bring it back to the mainstream? That I very much doubt.

Around the gaming world

Don’t forget to come out to Raleigh Game On this Monday at The Hive in downtown Raleigh. Raleigh Game On, the first ever independent gaming event for indie developers to show off their games.

Attendance is free, just bring money for refreshments!

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