In fact, it’s only in the past decade that portable PC games have become attractive. Although laptops have been running simple games for decades, if you want to get involved in any graphics-intensive field, it used to involve buying large tower PCs and monitors—and “portable” games meant dragging these devices to the local area network. At the party. However, recent trends indicate that portable technology—technology that can be easily carried or even worn—is about to dominate.
At a basic level, better components make it easier for laptops and other portable devices to achieve acceptable performance. AMD and Intel’s integrated GPUs are still a bit weak for 3D games, but they are sufficient today, especially if you limit yourself to playing old games. Mobile graphics cards from AMD and Nvidia have reached the threshold to run any AAA desktop game, and usually have very little sacrifice in fidelity. By 2021, many gaming laptops will have VR capabilities-which is very shocking for those of us who remember that PCs struggled with transparency in Windows Vista.
At the same time, the construction of portable designs has become easier and cheaper. The PC chip manufacturing process has been reduced from 14nm a few years ago to the standard 7 or 10nm. This means that smaller chips have higher performance, which in turn reduces power consumption. Combining more efficient lithium-ion battery and flash memory switching, it is possible to build portable gaming equipment that no longer weighs a ton or drains the battery in an hour. In addition, although Intel is still moving towards the 7nm mark, 5nm manufacturing should become commonplace in the next few years.
If it has some success, Valve’s upcoming Steam Deck using custom AMD chips may herald the era of ultra-optimized portable gaming PCs. Although not every PC manufacturer wants PDAs, there is clearly a market for cheaper and more compact gaming-focused devices-mainly gaming consoles. In fact, both PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X are based on AMD architecture, so the only ones preventing them from becoming “real” PCs are Sony and Microsoft. Of course, Valve will have to overcome its history of abandoning hardware such as Steam streaming boxes and Steam machines.
The tech world is moving towards portability
Some cultural factors are driving the development of PC games in the direction of portability. One of them is the shift to remote work, especially after the pandemic. Although in theory this may benefit desktop sales, the truth is that many people need to work as flexibly as possible, whether in hotels, coffee shops, or just in quiet rooms away from children. In many cases, wherever the work computer goes, so does the gaming PC.
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In fact, more and more gamers with children, because Entertainment Software Association Back up, those people increase the time pressure. When children need to bathe, eat, or go to school, it may be difficult to find time to play with anything. Portable devices allow parents to enjoy the game at their convenience.
The whole world is also accustomed to thinking that technology should be portable. Many people can live by just a mobile phone. Even if they have the money to buy more, they often buy laptops and tablets. Stationary PCs may seem outdated, regardless of whether their performance wins the competition.
The whole world is also accustomed to technology that should be portable.
The potential of portable design cannot be ignored. The Steam platform should provide the convenience of Nintendo Switch, but can access a larger and more diverse game library. In fact, Valve was probably inspired by the out-of-control sales of Switch and the widespread popularity of mobile games. Some people have only played popular games like Fortnite, PUBG or Apex Legends in their mobile version.
At the same time, Oculus Quest 2 may not be the first thing that comes to mind for PC games, but it does support portable VR without connecting a $2,000 desktop or laptop computer—a glimpse of the future. It’s easy to imagine a Quest 4 that is more like a PC as someone’s only gaming equipment, maybe even their only computer. Quest 2 has been able to achieve many work and video streaming functions through applications and networks.
Cloud services such as Google Stadia and Xbox Cloud Gaming can further reduce hardware barriers. By pushing rendering and storage to the server farm, even the cheapest and smallest devices can run realistic graphics. The main problem is bandwidth-because many ISPs provide uneven coverage or heavy data caps, it will take some time for the cloud to be 100% reliable. We also need a subscription to provide a selection of PC games at a monthly fee, and it is best to choose to play games offline. That doesn’t exist yet.
What hinders the development of portable PC games?
One of the main factors slowing down the portable transition is simple: heat. High-end laptops have become so hot that companies such as Razer spend a lot of energy on cooling. Thermally limited performance, whether it is a direct limitation or a design limitation. Gamers do not like to touch burning metal, and overheated machines may be shut down to prevent damage.
The price cannot be ignored either. Mobile processors are expensive, which has prompted many enthusiasts to switch to desktops. Tower PCs are always a more cost-effective choice because their manufacturers do not have to worry about cooling or miniaturization. In addition, laptops often require external docking stations and drives to provide the same connectivity and storage, and these accessories may not be suitable for handheld devices or VR headsets.
Solving interface problems is equally difficult. The advantage of the mouse and keyboard is that cross-platform games usually separate PC and console players. Laptop users may only need to add a mouse, but the closest other devices (if they are not docked) are the trackpad, touch screen, and/or software keyboard. People who want to get things done prefer laptops or desktops for a reason-it’s best to connect to the largest monitor they can afford.
When will the portable PC take over?
Don’t expect desktop opportunities to disappear completely or overnight.In addition to the cost and performance advantages, there is a dedicated fan base that treats them as works of art-think of the masterpieces displayed on Reddit r/pcmasterrace forum. No matter what goals a portable PC can achieve, desktop computers will continue to have special appeal.
However, in the next few years, this particular attraction may be similar to that of CDs, tapes, and vinyl records that still appeal to some music lovers. If they can afford it, ordinary people will strike the best balance between convenience and quality-which means more and more portability for PC games.