PC Gaming On the Rise, Set To Outsell Consoles by 2014 - NVIDIA
Some claim that PC gaming is dying. However, recent trends as explained by NVIDIA, disagree and it is in fact console gaming that will soon decline, as PCs have some compelling advantages such as ever improving graphics and moddability, to keep the gaming scene thriving. Techgage held a conference call with NVIDIA, where the company explained why PC gaming is on the up and up. PC gaming software sales are growing fast, according to this comparative graph and the predicted crossover point is 2014:
"What defines a 'PC'?" is a question that came to mind after seeing this graph, but it appears that it's just what we think it is... a PC; desktop or notebook. Mobile gaming products such as tablets and smart phones are not included in this forecast (likely a good thing, as I'm sure it'd put a damper on things).The Xbox 360 was released in 2005, and both the PlayStation 3 and Wii were released in 2006. That means that there's been a full five years since the last current console was released, so it's almost not hard to understand why PC gaming could begin to go on the rise. After all, while Nintendo announced its next console, the Wii U, it's not impressive performance-wise, and neither Microsoft nor Sony have given the vibe that either are close to an announcement for their own upcoming consoles.Rumors also have it that next-gen consoles from both Microsoft and Sony may not be exactly what we expect, and for some, whatever changes are entailed might not be classified as good changes to the average gamer. One thing's for sure though - PC gaming's allure is greater than ever, for a multitude of reasons (reasons that could fill an article on its own).Here's a great one:
So, how long can consoles hold out with their static, aging technology? Not much longer, one would expect.
When the Xbox 360 was released in 2005, it offered some sweet graphics for the time, but capabilities-wise, PCs were still about 40% faster. Since the current crop of consoles haven't budged in terms of performance, NVIDIA said that the current crop of GPUs make the PC up to 10x as powerful as consoles - and in some regards, I'd be willing to bet that delta could increase even more.If Microsoft or Sony release a new console next year, or the year after, they're both likely to blow their predecessors out of the water in terms of graphics and other features. But we're still going to face the problem of the last generation, where PCs are going to be more capable from the get-go, and will only get better as time passes.Let's put those facts to pictures. Below are four images, in the order of old-new-old-new, including Battlefield 2, released in 2005 (the same year as the Xbox 360), and Battlefield 3, to be released next month. There's just no comparison. The latter has far greater texture detail, good use of ambient occlusion, depth-of-field and lighting techniques, while the former just looks... well, out-dated.
larger maps, more players per map).We must ask - where will we be six years from now? Will we be greeting Battlefield 5 and looking back atBattlefield 3, wondering what we were so impressed about?Another interesting statistic that NVIDIA raised is this one:
As of 2008, boxed copies of games had paltry sales compared to digital sales, and nothing at all looks to change. During 2011, nearly $15 billion is going to be attributed to digital sales while $2.5 billion belong to boxed copies. This is a trend I have to admit I am not surprised by. I'll never purchase another boxed copy if I can help it.The death of PC gaming has long been a mocking-point of console gamers, but recent trends show that the PC has nothing to stress over. One such trend is free-to-play, where games are inherently free, but support paid-services such as purchasing in-game items. This has proven wildly successful, and has even caused the odd MMORPG to get rid of it subscription fee. It's also caused a lot of games to be developed with the F2P mechanic decided from the get-go.League of Legends is one good example. With a reported 15 million gamers worldwide, there are more people playing it than World of Warcraft. Games like these just don't work that well on consoles (where the bulk of the profits are the result of off-the-shelf games), but on the PC... they're thriving. Even Valve has jumped on the bandwagon by regularly releasing free-to-play games on its Steam platform.