Will Game Consoles Die Off?


Considering how fast desktop computer technology evolves and how quickly chip capacity grows, it may seem downright absurd if not puzzling why consoles are even on the market. Of course, we know the stock answer given by both console manufacturers and console fans: living room access.

You see, as powerful as PCs maybe in terms of processing power and graphics, PCs are strictly solo machines. One guy, one machine. That’s a PC. Consoles, on the other hand, can accommodate many people at once. You can have Zumba parties in your living room and Wii Sports competitions. Consoles are all about social interaction. The problem is console users pay a steep price for social interaction.

Here are just some of the weaknesses consoles possess. They justify the question of whether game consoles will die off in the foreseeable future.

Frame rate (FPS)

Games, by definition, are graphics intensive. You need a lot of pixels and you need a lot of resolution. Moreover, each picture of a game must be rendered. This process can be measured in terms of frames. The more frames rendered per second, the smoother the overall picture. Consoles are, sadly, stuck at the FPS rate of the graphics processor technology in effect at the time of their release. This is fine if consoles are rolled out every year. They aren’t.

In fact, the current generation of consoles are several years past normal console retirement. PCs, on the other hand, have shown continuous improvement since the current console generation’s release.

Processing power

Moore’s Law states that the number of transistors which can be packed into an integrated circuit doubles roughly every two years. This means faster processors. PCs are better positioned to take advantage of this because PC’s open architecture allows gamers to simply open their machines, pop out an old card, and pop in a new card. Quick and easy.

You can’t do that on a console. Again, you’re stuck with the state-of-the-art processor the console had when it was first rolled out-several years ago.

Processing power is the key to a fully immersive game experience. Heavy processing is needed to make every detail come to life and to make interaction with non-player characters and game environments as realistic as possible.

So Will Consoles Die Off?

Considering its drawbacks, will consoles die off? It could. If Gabe Newell, the head honcho of cloud-based gaming service Steam, is correct. He predicts that the next logical evolutionary step for gaming PCs is the living room. It will be a bold new frontier for PC gaming.

However, given the technology hurdles facing consoles, PCs are in a better position to grab the living room than consoles to step up to PCs annually increasing processing and graphics power.

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