Alienware mulls turning your smartphone into a PC gaming dashboard

(Image credit: Alienware)

Every year at CES, companies announce various concepts, some of which go onto to become actual products while others get scrapped. I'm not sure which category Alienware's "Second Screen" concept will fall into, but it's at least interesting.

Alienware isn't exactly breaking new ground here—the idea to treat your smartphone as an extension of your gaming PC. As currently conceived, it synchronizes with the Alienware Command Center, a utility that comes on Alienware desktops and laptops, and provides real-time monitoring of the CPU, GPU, and RAM. It can also be used a control hub for Alienware's RGB lighting.

That's not what piques my interest. It's too limited in scope, both because it only works with Alienware PCs (the company says Dell's G-series products would likely be supported as well), and I don't see a vast market opportunity for gamers to glance at their smartphones to spy system vitals while gaming. Sure, it can come in handy in some situations, like seeing how often your CPU and GPU throttle, which can be indicative of inadequate cooling. But outside of the occasional troubleshooting, it's not something I would fire up on a regular basis.

Fortunately, Alienware is willing to consider other use cases, if it decides to turn this into an actual thing.

"While this is purely an exploratory concept, we are thinking of ways to enhance future iterations of the software and are welcoming feedback from the community on new features they may want to see. We think this idea will peak the interest of mobile gamers who don’t always have access to a second monitor but still want a way to track their performance without leaving the game," Alienware says.

I'm more interested in having maps, HUDs, and other in-game content shuttled over to my smartphone. Alienware actually alludes to this, noting it can be handy for tracking kill counts, managing your inventory, and other such things without taking up space on your primary monitor. It would essentially function as a dual monitor setup in a sense, albeit on a much smaller screen.

Paul Lilly

Paul has been playing PC games and raking his knuckles on computer hardware since the Commodore 64. He does not have any tattoos, but thinks it would be cool to get one that reads LOAD"*",8,1. In his off time, he rides motorcycles and wrestles alligators (only one of those is true).