July 18, 2024 The Best Source of News, Culture, Lifestyle for Culver City, Mar Vista, Del Rey, Palms and West Los Angeles

Will Online Gaming Spell The End For Consoles?

In 2023, Alan Wake 2 was released to critical and commercial acclaim. It received numerous awards and was heralded as one of the best horror games ever made. It was also Remedy’s fastest-selling game. 

The speed at which it sold wasn’t purely down to the quality of the game, however. It was partially to do with the fact it was released exclusively in digital form – no physical copies of the game exist. 

To some, this event signified the beginning of the digital-only AAA game era. From this point onwards, disks, cartridges, and other physical copies of games will likely be gradually phased out – but will physical consoles be wiped out, too? 

PC games are back in fashion 

Throughout the 00s and 10s, console games undeniably rules the gaming market. However, based on recent statistics – and the rise in digital-only games – the tide could be turning. 

Games like Baldur’s Gate 3, which was released last year, initially came out in a PC-only format before being released for Xbox and PlayStation. This would suggest that at least some gaming manufacturers are starting to cater more towards the PC market over the console market. 

The main reasons for this are numerous. Generally, more people are now relying on their PC as their main entertainment hub, much like Xbox and Playstation consoles. Computer activities are not limited to gaming and streaming but also gambling and visiting poker rooms online. As Filip Jovchevski highlights, some offshore poker sites offer bonuses of up to $1,000, so it’s no wonder that gamblers favor digital poker rooms over real-life gambling facilities. 

With more reasons to be on the PC – streaming, games, online poker sites, etc. – people are spending more time on their PCs. More are also investing in sophisticated models to support this range of activities. 

The more people with premium PCs, the higher the demand for quality PC-based games. This is reflected in the recent increase in sales of computer-based games. According to Newzoo, PC game revenue increased by 8.4% in 2023, which was higher than the growth in console game revenue. 

Why are PC games becoming more popular than console games? 

There’s a host of other reasons why PC games are growing more popular than console games. This includes the following: 

  • A mouse and keyboard are easier to use – Many gamers are making the switch to PC gaming from console gaming due to a mouse and keyboard being easier to use than a controller. First Person Shooter (FPS) games, in particular, are much easier to play – and play fast – with a mouse and keyboard. 
  • Controllers are compatible with PCs – PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, and Nintendo Switch controllers can all be used as a gamepad for your PC. This means that even if you prefer to use a game controller, you don’t have to limit yourself to console-based gameplay. You can just as easily play a PC game with a controller. 
  • PCs have better graphics – It’s undeniable that the graphics attainable on PCs are much higher than the graphics delivered by consoles. Advanced gamer PCs are capable of achieving graphics of up to 8k resolution. This increases the clarity of FPS games and improves the gaming experience overall. 

The above reasons are convincing more people to switch to PC gaming every day – but do they spell the end of consoles altogether? 

Games consoles will unlikely be phased out

On the other hand, it’s highly unlikely that game consoles will be phased out in the wake of the return of PC games. While the release of Alan Wake 2 and many other digital-only games of late have proven that physical disk and cartridge-based games are on the way out, it doesn’t prove that Xbox, Playstation, and Nintendo consoles are doomed to the same fate. 

The CEO of Xbox gaming, Phil Spencer, announced in January that the company has no plans to discontinue physical gaming hardware. This is despite the rise in digital games and the fact that Xbox actually sells their consoles at a loss – they make most of their money through games and software. 

There will continue to be a demand for physical consoles in the foreseeable future. Consoles are easier to set up than PCs – no technical skills are required, and you don’t need to build your console. Plus, some people like a break from their computer and prefer to play video games on their couch in front of their large TV screen – both of which are made possible by console gaming. 

The above reasons prove why Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo will continue to produce them – however, they are up against strong competition from PC-based games. 

Final thoughts 

The gaming world is in the middle of a transition. Physical games are definitely on the way out, as digital sales currently dominate the market. Eventually, there will be no game disks or cartridges – but that doesn’t necessarily mean there won’t be consoles. As long as the demand continues for consoles, the main game manufacturers will keep making them. 

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