It feels as if we’re entering possible one of the most turbulent times in gaming in many a year. The next generation of consoles are on the horizon, of course, but there are also storm clouds gathering around the likes of Google Stadia and Project xCloud. Cloud-based gaming solutions are the future, they yell, while we stare glumly at atrocious upload speeds and download caps.
Local hardware will deliver the better experience
Like it or not though, these things are happening, and publishers are throwing their full weight of force behind such things. There has never been a bigger threat to game ownership than cloud gaming, and gamers will either push back or, as we saw with digital stores, gradually give in and accept their fate.
It’s enormously difficult to predict how it’s all going to turn out, but PC gaming still feels pretty safe among all this. Playing games locally on your own hardware is nearly always going to deliver the better experience, and with the walls being torn down in terms of cross-platform multiplayer and services (look no further than Xbox on PC), PC is well positioned to become the place where you can play any game on any service.
Competition will be fierce
All of this is just in terms of the competition as well. There’s also a whole lot more going on closer to home. Intel is about one year away from entering the graphics card market and ruffling a few feathers. Microsoft, Ubisoft, and EA are beginning to offer myriad subscription options. GOG is promising to offer the PC gaming client to end all clients.
And Epic? Epic’s still throwing mountains of cash at plumping up its turkey known as the Epic Games Store. Who knows, by this point in 2029, the Epic Game Store could be the biggest PC storefront in the world. It makes us shudder a lot to think about it but it’s not beyond reason. Who’d have thought 10 years ago that Banjo would appear in Smash? And who’d have thought 10 years before then that Microsoft could possibly be interested in buying Rare? Things change in this industry, and they can change fast.
PC hardware advances at a breakneck pace
Perhaps the biggest change for PC gaming though will be a technological one. Those who want to stay at the forefront of gaming tech know PC is the place to be the best performance, finest visuals, and groundbreaking graphical technology such as ray-traced lighting. This time 10 years ago we were all using GeForce 9600 GTs and our (ATI!) Radeon HD 4850s. Today we’re using GeForce RTX 2080 Ti’s and Radeon VIIs. That performance leap is ridiculous, so the mind kind of boggles at where we could be in 2029 with those futuristic graphics cards.
So I’m going to throw this one out to you now - what do you think the future of PC gaming will be like? Will PC gaming continue its dominating ascent, could consoles take centre stage once again, or will we all be playing Half-Life 3 on our Samsung Galaxy S20? Peer into your crystal balls and let us know what you think the future holds!