HP wants to make its gaming dashboard something you use and don't just uninstall

Road 96
(Image credit: Digixart)

HP Omen, the gaming PC and laptop brand, has just announced two little things that are coming to its machines and anyone who wants to download its software. The first is the release of the Omen Gaming Hub, a Windows dashboard that bolsters its previous offering, the Omen Command Centre, with more gaming-focused stuff. The second is HP Omen Presents, which will showcase game developers within the Gaming Hub. The first game to get some HP love is Road 96 by Digixart, which genuinely looks really cool.

(Image credit: HP)

The Omen Gaming Hub (which can be found on the Windows Store) isn't intended purely for owners of HP hardware, although the more useful functions are only usable if you have either one of its Omen laptops or desktops. This includes providing a place to configure your system's lighting, as well as offering undervolting options to make your machine run cool and quiet when you don't need a lot of power. 

If your life is HP free, then the Omen Gaming Hub is a less obvious sell, being yet another game launcher for you to battle with—although it does bring all your games from the various launches under one software roof. You can't buy games through the service, but there is information on the games you have installed, provided they're in HP database—Cyberpunk 2077 hasn't been added yet.

There's also the Omen Gallery to gawp at, which allows you to download a variety of wallpapers. There's nothing too exciting here, but it doesn't exactly hurt. 

The more interesting news is HP is working with game developers. HP will be promoting Road 96 in the coming months using its Gaming Hub, with exclusive access and content about the game's development—screenshots, wallpapers and videos at a guess.

Your next machine

(Image credit: Future)

Best gaming PC: the top pre-built machines from the pros
Best gaming laptop: perfect notebooks for mobile gaming

The industry has tended to keep the church and state of hardware and gaming separate for the most part—although graphics cards have been bundling games for years, it's not something OEMs or system builders generally touch. Whether we'll see the likes of Alienware or Razer follow suit remains to be seen, but it could be an interesting development if handled properly.

HP is also bolstering its peripherals, with a range of wireless devices on the way including a new Omen Blast Headset, Omen Vector Wireless Mouse, and Omen Spacer Wireless Keyboard. 

Alan Dexter

Alan has been writing about PC tech since before 3D graphics cards existed, and still vividly recalls having to fight with MS-DOS just to get games to load. He fondly remembers the killer combo of a Matrox Millenium and 3dfx Voodoo, and seeing Lara Croft in 3D for the first time. He's very glad hardware has advanced as much as it has though, and is particularly happy when putting the latest M.2 NVMe SSDs, AMD processors, and laptops through their paces. He has a long-lasting Magic: The Gathering obsession but limits this to MTG Arena these days.