Console gaming: where to next?

Console gaming has come a long, long way since it began in the 1970s with the first-generation machines that were released by Coleco and Atari. That period of innovation led many to stop using their PCs for gaming purposes to move on to the new devices. Of course, at the same time, computer games were becoming more sophisticated and required more computing power to run correctly.

Since then, we have seen the move to mobile devices for playing games and even for placing a bet on a gambling website. Those fast-responding sites with great graphics and smooth play, with colorful slots, and those offering PA online casino no deposit bonus codes, are seeing increased traffic. That sector, in particular, has experienced sustained growth, and with other types of online entertainment, it has caused more time to be spent on mobile devices to access the services.

However, gaming consoles still have a huge following. PlayStation and Xbox are the names that everyone associates with them in the modern world, and even their first incarnations, which were released back in 1994 and 2001, respectively, now look dated to today’s eyes.

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New generations of both, in the form of the PS5 and Xbox Series X, are set for release later in 2020, and are likely to signal a sea change in the industry that will see some significant developments in console gaming over the next few years.

Console owners have so far been left out of enjoying the ray-tracing capabilities that PC owners have benefited from since 2018 because the sheer power needed to calculate real-time lighting interplay has been beyond them.

However, the PS5 and Xbox Series X consoles are supporting ray tracing, and this feature will be able to be harnessed by developers to provide further realism to the next generation of titles.

What else can be expected for the next generation of console gaming?

The importance of storage speed

Speed has always been something that has hampered the gaming industry to some degree, and with modern titles often more than 100GB in size and the increasing quality of textures and assets, major bottlenecks are starting to be hit due to the strain on I/O.

The new generation of consoles is again looking to be the solution to this problem, enabling a sizeable bump to even the lowest storage speed via a change to NVMe SSDs that will offer a good deal more flexibility to developers in the long term.

The PC market has been making use of SSDs for a while now. Still, the extra data bandwidth has not been taken advantage of by developers due to other platforms being unable to make use of the same functionality.

That means the major step forward about to be taken by console hardware will ultimately be of benefit to all gamers.

Shorter loading times

One of the big bugbears of modern consoles for most gamers has always been loading times, but this year will see PCle 4.0 solid-state drives getting an upgrade.

Although it is tough to predict what the future in this area is likely to hold, capacity and speeds are likely to improve even further in years to come as the cost of hardware continues to drop.

It is also possible that future consoles may use the cloud for their storage requirement, again following in the footsteps of PCs.

Rockstar will be king

Since its release back in 2013, Grand Theft Auto V (GTA V) has sold more than 135 million copies, a significant milestone not just because of the number but also because of the game’s continued success regardless of its age.

Rockstar, the company that developed the game, has been instrumental in the launch of the new generation of consoles with the title, with the gameplay reveal of the PS5 prominently featuring GTA V.

Many people from all over the world also continue to be drawn in by the title’s online component.

The promise of the crime franchise’s next installment is also likely to be enough to persuade gamers to upgrade to the next Microsoft or Sony console, even if they continue to be avid users of the Xbox One or PS4.

The end of console wars

The days of the ‘console wars’ are likely to be coming to an end shortly, according to experts.

Many believe that the barriers between platform-walled games are already in the process of breaking down and that they will ultimately cease to exist within the next few years.

The truth is that both the Xbox and PlayStation are established consoles with large fanbases.

Although industry predictions are currently suggesting that the new PS5 will be a much bigger seller than the new Xbox, this is unlikely to have too much of an adverse impact on the latter, and both consoles appear to be here to stay for the foreseeable future.

In the end, it is gamers and viewers who will decide on the direction taken by the game industry, and consumers have rarely been more empowered than they are today.

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Anthony Dennis

Anthony is the Owner for Culture of Gaming and he spends his days studying, gaming and working on the site. Anthony has worked for the past 7 years in the Video Game journalism industry and has worked for over 30 different sites in that time.

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