Here's an interesting way to offer technical support for PC gamers.
Origin PC has rolled out what it calls Nexus, the first-ever in-game PC support platform that's now only available on Origin PC systems.
Powered by the popular social networking tool Xfire, the Nexus client allows customers to chat with technical support in real-time without having to leave the game. The drawback is that players can only get help within business hours (9:30am to 5:30pm EST), so don't expect any help with framerate tweaking in the middle of the night.
"Having issues launching a game? Need help updating your graphic card drivers? Nexus makes it convenient to chat live with our support team who can quickly help answer any technical questions and provide the expert support you need," Origin PC boasts.
Given the chat client's Xfire roots, users will also be able to chat with friends within the Xfire community, take screenshots, record gameplay, broadcast live and much more. The service is also free to all Origin PC customers, both prior and current.
"If you're playing a game that is supported by Nexus, you can summon the client by using the default key combination, Scroll Lock + X, to instantly bring up the client during gameplay," the company explains. "You may also change the default key combination for in-game by going to 'tools' in the menu bar of the client and clicking options."
While this is a novel idea to gain and retain PC gaming customers, what isn't clear is how long the service will remain free (unless it's buried in fine print somewhere). Will this in-game support be available once the gaming rig's warranty has expired? Or will it continue as long as the company can confirm the original order?
For more information about Origin PC's Nexus platform, head here. Also included is a video tutorial which explains how the Nexus client works, and a list of games that are compatible with the Xfire/Nexus client.
UPDATE: Origin PC sent along this statement: "Origin Nexus support, including our 24/7 Phone and or Email Support, are all completely free for the lifetime of the PC, even if the customer is in or out of warranty. We do this because we are committed to providing our Customers the best level of support in our industry."