Voodoo PC founder joins Microsoft

Voodoo PC founder joins Microsoft

Rahul Sood is to head up the Systems Experience arm of Microsoft's interactive entertainment division.

Rahul Sood, founder of Canadian gaming PC specialist Voodoo PC, has announced that he is to head up the System Experience arm of Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment Business - possibly heralding a new focus on PC gaming for the company.

According to the brief announcement on his personal blog, the move will see Sood become the General Manager for Systems Experience - meaning that he'll be working on what he calls 'really... really.... really cool stuff come January 2011.'

While details are thin on the ground at the moment, pending an official announcement from Microsoft itself, Sood's past speaks for itself: founder of the gaming PC manufacturer Voodoo PC, which was picked up by HP back in 2006, Sood has long been an outspoken advocate of PC gaming, claiming that a cross-platform gaming project was killed by Microsoft because mouse and keyboard-equipped PC gamers meant that 'the console players got destroyed every time - so much so that it would be embarrassing to the Xbox team in general had Microsoft launched this initiative.'

That's far from the first time Sood has been scathing about Microsoft's commitment to PC gaming, having written a post back in 2007 entitled Halo 2 on the PC Sucks in which he accuses Microsoft of 'easily the worst use of high performance hardware that I've seen in years.'

Sood's outspoken attitude doesn't seem to have stopped Microsoft from hiring him, and given his long-standing support of PC gaming could help push Microsoft back into the market and away from its current focus on console gaming.

Sood leaves his post as chief technology officer of HP's gaming business, with no successor yet named.

Are you pleased to see Microsoft supporting PC gaming by hiring Sood, or is he likely to find his powers limited as the company continues to push towards console gaming? Share your thoughts over in the forums.


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SoulLance 22nd December 2010, 14:04 Quote
As long as the big announcement isn't some more casual gaming coming our way - KINECT for PC anyone?! -I guess I'll be optimistic about this.
bowman 22nd December 2010, 14:25 Quote
Oh please. So you'll be joining them in backstabbing PC gamers then. Lovely.
Snips 22nd December 2010, 15:33 Quote
This has to be a good thing since we've had a lot of high profile developers claiming the death of pc gaming for years. Should be good to let him loose on a few of them and see some flamewars kickin' off!
kornedbeefy 22nd December 2010, 16:17 Quote
Hmm, very skeptical of this. Microsoft stole ideas from the PC gaming Areana for its XBOXes. This could be a push for current ideas for its next XBOX. I hope Soods PC gaming advocacy is solid and has not just been bought for console.
Krayzie_B.o.n.e. 22nd December 2010, 16:32 Quote
Your allegiance in this day and age comes at a price and Microsoft has enough money to make anyone denounce their faith in PC gaming.

Sood has just been bought and in 5 months you will see him in a Kinect commercial, dancing and smiling.

Long live Valve!!
cgthomas 22nd December 2010, 16:44 Quote
Maybe the next XBOX will allow for GPU and CPU upgrades of certain approved models - by the way I have a patent for this idea so Microsoft can knock on my door if they want to embrace it.

Imagine the above really happening - that would really kill PC gaming
mastorofpuppetz 22nd December 2010, 18:29 Quote
Xbox sucks, that is all.
Krayzie_B.o.n.e. 22nd December 2010, 19:39 Quote
PC gaming isn't going any where, I just don't understand why people would be so foolish to believe that PC gaming is dying. All this Foolish talk will be silenced once the next round of "Games that can be only done on a PC are released". The 360 and PS3 have been maxed out. DX11 in it's infant stage destroys anything a console could do.

Gt5 is a perfect example of Polyhony Studios, a console developer who's game was gimped because their idea was too big for the PS3. Consoles are just a cash cow right now, any developer can make a crappy game on the console and make money. You can't do that on the PC cause PC gamers don't buy "shovel ware" therefore only dedicated developers make money on the PC.

Quality sells no matter what but there lies the problem, most developers have too many lame excuses for a lack of quality especially when the PC modding community has made some terrific games or have vastly improved a game with just one or two people programming in their spare time. The only part of PC gaming that I wish would die or needs to die is DX9. We need a global war on DX9 so that developers will be forced to use DX10 and Dx11 and advance the software that currently is 5 years behind the hardware. If you notice that HD 5000 series is very capable of Ray Tracing but we have yet to see any implementation in a commercial game.
Eiffie 22nd December 2010, 20:05 Quote
That part about console gamers getting destroyed every time by PC gamers gives me flashbacks of playing Shadowrun on PC versus others playing on an X-Box 360. You could practically run rings around them while they tried to get a bead on you and pop off a few shots. FPS games are probably the least balanced if you were to play PC vs Console and most RTS games are unplayable on a console if you were to go up against someone on a PC. There is just too much you have to do in RTS games to be competitive on a console. If anyone could think of a few more games that actually offered this option, I'd be happy to hear about 'em.
Ayrto 22nd December 2010, 21:55 Quote
Agree with some of the comments above, having to code for DX9 is a pain, it's also allowing Console to PC ports to continue. Extending support for XP was a terrible decision imo , preceding that though, an even worse decision was not allowing XP DX10, on some spurious grounds.

The modern PC GPU architecture combined with the full DX11 feature set including DX11 multi-threading (parallel creation of resources and display lists by multiple threads) is yet to put to good use , hence all the starved GPU, underutilisation in many of the current games, and players scratching the heads at choppy gameplay even on good rigs. Though Nvidia and Ati are dragging their heals- there aren't even any publicly available drivers that permit this right now.

DX9 never supported simultaneous rendering in the same way that the extended DirectX 9 on xbox360, and the low-level libraries on PS3 can.
Fingers66 22nd December 2010, 22:00 Quote
My worry is that Microsoft have "bought" him to keep him under control (and quiet). Divide and conquer and all that.
memeroot 22nd December 2010, 22:11 Quote
HP killed them
IT Troll 23rd December 2010, 08:42 Quote
"Sood's outspoken attitude doesn't seem to have stopped Microsoft from hiring him"

I used to find the tone of his column in Custom PC to be very arrogant, opinionated and egotistical. It certainly turned me off any point he was trying to make whether it was valid or not.
Unknownsock 23rd December 2010, 12:57 Quote
Originally Posted by SoulLance
As long as the big announcement isn't some more casual gaming coming our way - KINECT for PC anyone?! -I guess I'll be optimistic about this.

Havn't they already said they will release Kinect at some point for the PC?
chrisriley 23rd December 2010, 17:55 Quote
Yeah do you remember his columns in Custom PC a few years back? He was a complete bellend!

I think Alex replaced him after he knocked that Greebo on the head who wrote about Hello Kitty bollocks from Japan.
bogie170 28th December 2010, 23:28 Quote
The PC was here before and will still be here long after the Xbox 360 and PS3 have died. FACT!
bagman 31st December 2010, 01:05 Quote
well looking back at what sood has said in the past i think it will be clear that if stays it is good news as Microsoft hopefully will take in constructive criticism but if he is fired for shouting at bill gates too much i think Microsoft will kill pc gaming as much as they can and then it is just down to blizzard to save us

i think this move could be very good for us looking at what sood said about January 2011 should be interesting to see if sood will stay a pc gamer or be converted to consoles
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