The Wall Street Journal reported this morning on Dell's plan to stop competing with itself. Rather than selling both high-end XPS gaming PCs as well as similar products from Alienware (which it acquired in 2006), Dell will shift all of its gaming energies at Alienware, including providing Dell R&D resources. As the Journal also noted, this shift will mirror the move that Hewlett-Packard made when it acquired Voodoo, although in that case HP immediately involved Voodoo in developing HP's BlackBird 002. The Dell-Alienware relationship has seen each brand operate under its own silo, with little product development cooperation thus far.
We're told that Q1 of next year is when we finally see the fruit of Dell and Alienware's first full collaboration, so think CES 2009 or thereabouts. As for what happens with XPS, Dell told us that it will retain the brand as a luxury line, but it won't be tailored to gaming. Its XPS One all-in-one desktop is a good example of what Dell has in mind for XPS moving forward.