GAMES AND THE LATEST CONSOLES

xbox series x

While several million PS5 and Xbox Series X|S consoles have been sold. there are still million of older model consoles in use. The main reason is that the existing consoles are not dying on mass so there is not much motivation. At last count both PlayStation and Xbox now have sold over 5 million new consoles each.

Component shortages have impacted consoles as badly as other sectors. Both Xbox and PlayStation have been constrained.

The studio here has a high performance PC for gaming which still dominants the industry. The personal computer has had problems with the supply of graphics cards which has been a real sore point. The outlook does look dismal with the price of bitcoin lately.

Gaming is a very big chunk of the economy. It is even bigger than corporate data centers by more than $1 billion a year. The flock of console peasants along with the power of the PC master race make for a potent force in the market.

Its only now that the Xbox 360 has been moved to sunset given that millions of the old consoles are still in use. Games for the Xbox 360 are abundant and there again is not much motivation. The PS2 has been the most popular console but like the Xbox 360 it has little to look forward to. Xbox has worked with game companies to make even the original Xbox games to work in the Xbox Series X but there is no emulator favoring a downloaded version.

Given the market for game consoles it is suggestive that many games will be designed to span a wider range of machines. The Unreal and Crytek engines are both quite flexible for game developers but the Unreal is less costly for licensing which makes it the most popular choice.

Already some recent games are starting to want 16GB of RAM installed. This is driven by the latest consoles. The typical PC today can have 128GB of RAM installed but that is excessive.

The PS5 has a M.2 slot while the Xbox seems to be soldered in place only. Given that M.2 SSD prices are lower its possible to install a 2TB unit to double the primary storage. Given the size of modern games the 1TB storage seems to be quite limited.

At present many PC gamers have 1TB and 2TB M.2 NVMe SSD installed which can afford several games. The largest M.2 SSD reaches 8TB but prices are high due to a limited supply of higher capacity models. With advanced stacking it may eventually lead to a 16TB SSD coming to the M.2 slot.

Given the consoles are now eschewing hard disks, this leaves the PC as the last of the hard disks users. Moves and television shows tend to need a lot of storage which affords the streaming capability.

Once more foundries are brought into production a new mid generation console is likely to enter the market. 2023 seems to be about the right timing given the new models with earlier generation consoles.

Closer at hand is the PC adopting DDR5 which will afford the ability to have 512GB of RAM installed. DDR5 is not likely to be much faster but the move to PCIe 5.0 will benefit the M.2 NVMe SSD speeds substantially. This hardware is expected in Q4 2021 with more choices in 2022. Early on prices will be brutal. The migration to DDR3 was slow and DDR4 was also slow to be adopted suggesting DDR5 will follow suit.

Already several games have had new remastered versions released and more are expected as the latest generation console matures. Many new games are also under development and in the nest 3 years a literal flood of new games expected as the economy recovers globally.

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