I imagine the vast majority of people will see this title and do one of two things, either sigh or get angry for no apparent reason because of quotation marks.
A snippet of background.... I am a PC gamer, owned a PS3 (7 of them, long story), played just about every console since the nintendo, and have 5 different generations of them under the TV in my room. I understand both worlds thoroughly, from handhelds to hacked together chip consoles like the Retrode that just play old games. The other snippet of information is that I have a passion for PC hardware, and ultimately went to school for where I graduated a Computer Engineer.
I eagerly awaited the new consoles for a variety of reasons. The biggest one being that there will be practically no excuse for games not coming to PC anymore. A slightly less nugget being that it is the start of AMDs new steamroller chip. I hear podtoid repeat that consoles are going to be "just as complicated as PC were a few years ago". Is that really the case?
In 2003 a piece of software came out that dramatically transformed the future of the PC platform. It brought with it auto-patching, cloud saves, in-game communication, easy access to mods, multiplayer, friends lists and the rest of the things that go with multiplayer, community based in-game content, forums for every single game on the platform, and many other features that transcended where we thought things would go at that time. Now we have consoles that are based on the same hardware, require keys to authenticate just about everything, must be online, require fees to play online if you like X's, and flat out lock content if you like X's and do not pay said fee. Then we have Sony who seems to be putting out a box that is simply that, a gaming console that doesn't have crap on top of it. We will see how it plays out, but you either choose the Xbox with a camera and stupid gestures to do everything, a Nintendo platform that doesn't do what you thought it should let you do, a Sony platform that is a simplified PC with the 2003 era issues, or a PC/HTPC with steam.
Hardware in either of these is going to be put simply like this. The consoles are going to be ahead right up until steamroller is released on PC. It even gives me the taste that the consoles were a testbed for AMDs Steamroller platform and the hUMA architecture. It does help when two of the three console manufacturers hand you a gigantic wad of cash to help test case your idea for the future of how computers are to be formatted.
By the time Steamroller comes out, the console will have software developed for it throughout the past months while PC users will need to deal with quirks. After a time frame the kinks will be worked out, and considering how the hUMA can change the way PCs work it seems like the platform that will work on it quickest is going to be PC for research purposes and offloading experiments to alleviate performance issues.
I have no idea how things will work out, but we are on the ledge of what could be a big change and something that has been coming since we knew that GPUs were better at certain loads than a standard Central Processing Unit. I am quite hopeful that things work out well for all involved, but most of all AMD needs this to pay off. A new generation with millions of disappointing customers and one singular architecture to point to would be a bankruptcy waiting to happen. Here's to hoping the designers of these boxes screwed down the motherboard correctly to prevent warping and worked out what a heatsink is this go around.
E3 is days away, and we will get to see the future in action. I'm not sure what I should think about all of these possibilities, but they truly are endless.
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