Microsoft has caused quite the buzz with their plans to create an upgradeable Xbox, as opposed to having a defined life cycle in which the hardware remains at a fixed performance level. The benefit to the usual model is that developers can optimise their games to the console much better as time goes on due to the familiarity with the hardware and architecture, and a lack of variables compared to PC gaming. That's why we end up seeing games looking much better graphically than the hardware would suggest, as well as often having more complex game mechanics as devs learn all the little tricks to eke out every last inch of performance.

The downside to this is that games development becomes completely fixed to that level of hardware. There can only be so much improvement when using the same graphics card or CPU and so to achieve a true leap forward in gaming software, a developer has to wait for the next big console. I still remember as a young lad how excited I'd be to get my hands on the next console and to experience the difference in games and graphics and I think it's a feeling that many console players still cherish.

Then there's PC gaming. Already fully upgradeable and always as current as a gamer's chosen hardware is, PC gaming has always stood as a bastion for high end gaming. The downside in terms of development is that a games developer has to optimise its game across an insanely huge range of different hardware, meaning that certain graphics cards will run some games much better than others despite said games not being dissimilar in terms of what they actually need to run.

It's a debate that will probably still be argued vehemently between console users and desktop users, as both sides are often adamant that the features that define their platform make theirs the best. With Microsoft pushing to narrow the distinction between PC and Xbox, and AMD on the verge of announcing a new type of standardised external GPU slot, it seems that big business really believes everything needs to be upgradeable now.

So the question comes down to which you guys would all prefer. If you were offered the choice between an upgradeable console, an upgradeable laptop or an upgradeable desktop (each of which could run the latest games to an acceptable standard), which would you choose?

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