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Nov
11
2013

The End of Gaming Consoles and Rise of Mobile and PC Gaming

The End of Gaming Consoles and Rise of Mobile and PC Gaming

The End of Gaming Consoles and Rise of Mobile and PC Gaming

For the past 30+ years, consoles such as the NES and XBOX have been the staple of the living room, shaping the way for video games. Their time, however, is coming to an end. Sure, they feature great AAA titles and exclusives but their power is lacking. The Playstation 4, for example, features 1.84 TFLOPS of performance.

Next-Gen Gaming Consoles Performance

A NVIDIA GTX Titan features roughly 4.5 TFLOPS. Sure, TFLOPS isn’t the only thing that determines performance, but it gives us a rough idea just how weak these supposed “next-gen” consoles really are. While 1080p is considered to be Full HD, it's quickly turning to old news.

4K Gaming

The future is looking towards 4K resolutions while many launch Xbox One titles only play on 720p-900p. That’s right, many games for these consoles that are supposed to last over five years won’t even play 1080p right out of the box. The Playstation 4 fares a little better in the fact that many of it’s titles will play at 1080p. How do Microsoft and Playstation expect to address 4K when it becomes widely available?

Mobile Gaming's Rise to Power

Let’s look at cellphones and tablets. Over the years, they have gotten smaller, more powerful and more efficient. These devices feature 1080p and even 1440p displays and have no problems playing games on them. If you look at the latest Infinity Blade game on iOS, you can see just how far mobile graphics have gone. Mobile processors used to be considered the unwanted child, however, now they feature more power than some of the game consoles in the last decade.

NVIDIA's Vision for the Future of Mobile

You may be wondering, “How can a tiny little chip be faster than a full-fledged console?” If we look at NVIDIA’s Tegra series of mobile processors, you can see just how powerful these little things have gotten. With the demo of their Project Logan Tegra 5 chip, they showed us a mobile processor that featured a Kepler GPU and support for OpenGL. In their demo, they showed a Full HD render demo that only drew 2watts of power. This SoC was supposedly FASTER than the Playstation 3. However, NVIDIA is not done there. They’re working on the next generation of Tegra, code-named Project Denver. If the Tegra 5 is as fast as a Playsation 3, The Tegra 6 should be faster than the supposed “next-gen” consoles and draw less than 20x the power. Following their roadmap, Tegra 6 should be out in 2014 and will feature a Denver CPU with a Maxwell GPU. Maxwell is NVIDIA’s next-gen architecture. With all this power, can you imagine playing Halo 5 on an Android device?

Game Streaming and Powerful Mobile Games

If implemented in a device such as the NVIDIA Shield, it could render consoles completely useless. The current-gen NVIDIA Shield with the Tegra 4 processor is a great gaming device that plays gorgeous looking Android games and even allows the user to stream PC games straight to the device. It even features a HDMI out so you can plug it into the TV and enjoy your PC games on the big screen without having to transfer over your heavy PC. There is also the upcoming Tegra Note that is only $199 and will allow you to do the same.

The Future of Gaming Consoles

Now imagine a device like the shield with a Tegra 6 processor. A device such as this would render consoles completely useless. Not only would they be more powerful, they would allow the user to play the games wherever they wanted. Personally, I think in the next 5 years all you will need is a device like the NVIDIA Shield and a gaming pc. With the Shield, you can play tons of fantastic games on the go and the PC will allow you to stream games straight to the device and enjoy more demanding games on 4k-8k resolutions. Unless Microsoft and Sony plan on delivering a new console in the next 3-4 years, the “next-gen” consoles are already outdated in my eyes. They can’t live up to the power of a gaming desktops or gaming laptops and the upcoming mobile processors.

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