Dell is a juggernaut in the computer industry — both in hardware and software. Its flagship gaming brand, Alienware, continues to be a top draw in the at-home PC gaming market. Meanwhile, Best Buy has been one of North America's flagship stores for all gaming consoles and associated merchandise. This is why the two have come together to display interactive kiosks in most of Best Buy's North American store network.
Development of the Alienware Kiosk Software
The kiosk allowed the PCs to be interactive and informative at the same time
ggCircuit was commissioned by Dell in January 2017 to create a content management system, as a pilot in 50 stores, which at its core would allow potential customers to learn more about the systems on display and, crucially, to have a short gaming experience. The project was deemed to be a success and was later installed in hundreds of additional locations. In 2021, ggCircuit was again commissioned for the development of the next generation of this software using the latest web technology.
Using ggLeap's underlying technology, any game on a modern platform can be launched as part of a system demo. The software will not only track how many active sessions were recorded (i.e. human input) but also what the users do, as well as capping the free demo of a customer to a maximum of 15 minutes.
The upgraded custom interface is currently rolling out to stores across North America.
Highlights of the new Alienware Kiosk Update
The software was mainly designed to help market the Alienware PCs
Although ggLeap Retail 2.0 looks completely different from the standard version utilized for esports centers, it uses the same underlying, state of the art, web, and cloud technology as is enjoyed today in the vast majority of physical esports venues in the USA.
Some of the main new features of the new Alienware Kiosk is its ability to really showcase the peripherals that are connected to the PC and the applications that are pre-installed in the PCs, such as the Alienware Command Center, which is proprietary software that controls features in the Alienware PC.
Much like its predecessor, Project Cars 2 was selected as the game of choice for demos on this system. This is an upgrade from the original Project Cars in the first iteration of the project. As with most publicly facing projects, finding a game that meets age-appropriate requirements and meets a high gaming standard was not the easiest task to agree upon.
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Revamped Game Launch Integration
Customers can get a hands-on experience of how a game will run on an Alienware machine
Due to ggCircuit's vast experience with the day-to-day operations of esports venues. This makes them the experts when it comes to launching from the Windows shell and providing abilities to ease the burden of launching games.
ggLeap supported almost all game launchers in its standard version, this is incorporated in the kiosk to allow prospective buyers to test the gaming prowess of the PC to help them decide which model they would purchase. And while the game is launching, the kiosk advertises the specs of the Alienware PC.
Just like the previous version of the Alienware kiosk, the gaming session will only last 15 minutes to allow another prospective buyer to test the PC.
Unique Interface Per Alienware Model
ggLeap worked closely with Dell for the custom design of its floor terminals. Part of the results is the custom UI that is unique to each Alienware model.
The UI of the kiosk was designed to showcase the product being shown and its many features. There are 5 navigation buttons located on the left side of the screen that presents dynamically driven content that is unique for each respective system:
The kiosk is designed to be interactive which will help would-be buyers to decide on the model they prefer
- Features: Displays the overview of the model.
- Specification: Displays the fine detail about the internal components including the ability for users to hover over all the ports to learn about each of them.
- Technology: Displays information about the primary software features that are preinstalled on the systems, such as Alienware Command Center, Enhanced Alienware FX, Optimal Overclocking, and Thermal Control.
- Accessories: Display full marketing detail about any accessories that are physically connected to the system or which Dell would like to promote.
- Play: Allows a customer to start a timed gaming experience.
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Statistics, Monitoring, and Support Features
The kiosk was also made to be remotely operated by administrators of the store
Aside from the customer-facing user interface, Dell has access to extensive real-time analytics about customer usage per pc, and per store to really gain insight as to what is working best in which location. Uptime and session history reports are available along with a weekly summary.
These statistics and monitoring allow Alienware to see how much their kiosks are being utilized while at the same time flagging any issues for the support team to address regarding offline machines or models that may need to be evaluated.
The administrative panel also allows authorized users to interact with the PCs remotely using a web browser (perhaps to reboot or remote control). Administrators will also be able to use this system to track, diagnose, and escalate issues for a quick resolution.
ggCircuit is thrilled to be a continuously solid piece of Alienware's North American marketing efforts at Best Buy stores. ggCircuit continues to assist them in selling more hardware due to the work of our developers who have provided a great user experience in not only providing thorough data on each model but also providing a testbed for potential customers to see the power of these gaming PCs.