PC MAKER Dell has found a unique selling point for its latest laptop, claiming at a launch event in China that they are great for cheating at PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG).
That's according to an Australian PC Authority journalist Ben Mansill who attended the launch. He claims that Dell account director Sally Xiao talked up the laptops' 8th-gen Intel CPUs as great for running "plugins" in order to get an edge (ie: to cheat) at the popular 'chicken dinner' game.
"She spoke of how Chinese gamers are the most innovative and dominant in the world by using 'plugins' to, for example, run faster than other players, or blow up 10 cars at a time," Mansill wrote.
"Behind her a video proudly shows various cheats in PUBG in action (they really like the one with the massively oversized gun and show that a lot), with the new Dell gaming laptops shown every few seconds while Sally told us that gamers should buy a Dell because they're better at running many plug-ins."
The presentation was all the more astonishing given the constant complaints, not just of rampant cheating at PUBG on the PC, but the suggestion that much of it is coming from players in China. The game has become so popular it has made 'simplified Chinese' the most widely used language on PC gaming portal Steam, way ahead of English.
PUBG, meanwhile, is three times more popular than the next most popular game on Steam, with more than two million people parachuting in for a game every day, despite the cheating claims.
Xiao's presentation was covered more fully by Japan's PC Watch, which published images from the launch.
"Besides being focused not only on gamers, the G series also targets 'crazy' gamers who will fundamentally reverse the concept of game developers' games," Xiao is reported as saying. "Recently, PUBG, [a game] that is popular all over the world, but some gamers enjoy using cheat programs.
"Although it is a cheat which greatly destroys the game balance, there are even bombs of hundreds of vehicles altogether [causing] high loads on CPUs and GPUs. With the top level G7 [laptop], you can choose six core/12-thread Intel Core i9 processors, so that even such 'crazy' gamers will achieve satisfactory performance."
Xiao also claimed that the more legitimate Waves MaxxAudio Pro software bundled with the laptops could also help by focusing the sound on the footsteps of other players, giving players on Dell platforms an edge - although that sounds very much more like marketing nonsense rather than an actual cheat.
Ben Mansill, the journalist who covered the event for PC Authority, defended his coverage on the PlayerUnknown's Battleground official forum.
"She [Xiao] got my attention when she started to talk about ‘plug-ins', and ‘chicken dinner'. I thought it was mildly funny she wouldn't use the proper name for the game, but then, all she talked about was how the best players use plugins to always win, and gave the examples I quoted, and others, of specific cheats ('plugins'), ie. to run faster than is allowed, do more damage etcetera. Then it clicked she was endorsing cheating, and recommending Dell gear to do so."
According to Mansill, none of the other 150 or so journalists seemed in the least bit surprised by this somewhat unique marketing angle.
"I wish I'd recorded it. It was only when she was done that I started to realise the magnitude of what Dell endorsing cheating meant," he added.
"With a full press deck prepared, and Dell being Dell, I can only assume the presenter had run it by others in the company and wasn't a loose cannon."
The apparently nonchalant attitude towards cheating will further calls from many PUBG players to region-lock China.
In a statement given to INQ, Dell condemned cheating in any form and said it "does not encourage nor endorse any behaviour that undermines fair gaming practices.
"Dell has a strong track record in partnering with gaming teams, aiming at providing world-class gamers with the ultimate experience. In an attempt to communicate the power of the new Dell G Series, inappropriate modification examples were used in Dell's product launch event in China last week," a Dell spokesperson said.
"This does not reflect our global gaming culture or strategy. We condemn any modifications misused in gaming." µ
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