I was thinking about how Apple computers have such broad appeal and that got me thinking about the key aspects of the mac experience. Number one on the list of course is stability. People talk about quality a lot but I think for computers this is the more significant reason. You buy your mac, then when you need anything you head to the same place you bought your mac from - the apple store. Everything in there is obviously hand picked so that it works perfectly with macs of all ages. Contrast that with the windows experience you would get from purchasing a no-brand peripheral at a local electronics shop or more likely a large supermarket. I can tell you are instinctively typing "windows driver download for XXXX-XX" on your lap while reading this.
Another thing I noticed keeps mac users happy is how apple goes out of it's way to fill the general needs of their user base. Want to make a video? Here's an app for that. Want to play around with mixing music? Here you go. Want to produce a unique presentation for a pitch or an online video? We got your back.
and the stuff they're offering is really well done, and not token giveaway software that will be replaced later on for more expensive "Pro" apps.
Anyway, this got me thinking: would you pay a little extra for a PC if the PC manufacturer offered a service specifically to improve the experience for PC gamers?
As an example, for the equivalent of a current 24" iMac plus the added support package, you'd get a gaming PC and free subscription to a network that gives you:
-the best settings for a huge library of games catered specifically for your PC model. The settings would be tweaked to give you the best framerates and later on the best balance between quality and performance once your PC model starts showing it's age (3-4 years down the line).
-fixes for a huge library of games, compatibility fixes for games from previous generations
-Articles on new game mods, and pre-configured mods to download - again catered specifically for your system. So you would just download and install, tweaking not necessary.
-an online store for emulation gaming. That would include refurbished PS2,Wii,SNES etc. consoles to legally own BIOS, older titles from PS2,Wii,gamecube and others. An iso rip and emulator configuration come free with each game. Only games which work perfectly are included in the store.
-An online store with hard to find or quirky PC hardware like, say a bluetooth adapter that supports keyboards in BIOS, or a LAN HDMI extender. Or even this remote for example if you're into home theater stuff.
-An overclock profile that you can load directly into your motherboard with a guarantee that it will work perfectly with your PC model
-Discounted upgrade packages for your now ancient machine that have been exhaustively tweaked and tested to match the claim of their specific price level: budget, mid-range, high end.
- insane amounts of support from the kind of people you would know are knowledgeable about this stuff, and not "trained support staff"
In short, all the things that are great about PC's but without the hassle of trial and error, loss of money and wasted time.
So yeah, I'm curious: would you be willing to pay a bit extra for these kinds of features or save up, build your own PCs and take your chances?