There’s never been a better time to buy a new game console or PC. While consoles have typically been held back by weaker CPUs, spinning hard drives, and average GPU performance, the next-generation PS5 and Xbox series S / X promise some big leaps in performance that even push them beyond average gaming PCs. Meanwhile, Nvidia claims to have achieved the “biggest breakthrough in PC games since 1999” with its new RTX 3000 series of graphics cards.
The prerequisites for a next generation of games have been created that can use powerful CPUs, GPUs and SSD storage on consoles and PCs.
We now get a good idea of what this next generation will cost and when it will arrive. Microsoft launches its Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S consoles on November 1
While Microsoft, Sony, and Nvidia promise big things for the next generation of games, they all offer great choices.
Microsoft and Sony each offer two options. Microsoft is releasing an Xbox Series S console for $ 299, which is less powerful than the larger Xbox Series X because it was designed for users with 1080p TVs or 1440p monitors. The X series promises 4K games with up to 120 fps. Sony is also launching two next-generation consoles: the PS5 with its traditional drive and a digital edition without a CD. This gives PS5 buyers a cheaper option with the same performance and specs for both consoles. While they may appear similar, Sony and Microsoft approaches to the next generation differ significantly, especially when it comes to hardware choices.
Sony went for an incredibly fast SSD that promises to radically change the future of game design, reducing or even eliminating loading screens. The potential for this SSD technology has been demonstrated with the Unreal Engine 5 and even in Ratchet & Clink: Ripped apart. Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney believes the PS5’s SSD technology will also power PC gaming. However, this is likely many years away, and how developers take full advantage of them is still a great unknown.
Sony also promises 10.28 teraflops of performance, which is nearly 15 percent less than the Xbox Series X. There are also some fundamental differences in cooling and architecture that allow Sony to provide variable GPU and CPU speeds, with Microsoft is sticking to the more traditional hard drive with speeds. Which design offers the best experience for playing games remains to be seen, but it’s reasonable to assume that the two are very close to each other in 4K performance. In any case, all gaming fans win here because of this huge hardware push.
Both consoles significantly reduce loading times, offer higher frame rates in games, and offer better graphics. Only the CPU and SSD improvements are important for game development. When fully used, they can even result in PC games requiring SSDs. It’s also encouraging to see both Sony and Microsoft prioritize up to 120 fps instead of trying to market these consoles as 8K capable.
We are also approaching an era of gaming that will include real-time ray tracing effects. Nvidia pushed this forward with its RTX 2000 line of graphics cards two years ago, but game developers weren’t ready, consoles definitely weren’t ready, and pricing was a huge concern. All three next-gen consoles have promising support for ray tracing, and we’ve seen more and more games support it. Call of Duty: War Zone, Fourteen days, and Minecraft are some of the great additions, and there are sure to be a lot more in the course of 2021.
While console games are getting the hardware boost they desperately need, PC games certainly aren’t left behind. Nvidia’s RTX 3080 promises twice the performance of the RTX 2080 for $ 699 while delivering 29.7 teraflops of GPU performance. If Nvidia’s numbers deliver a big leap in performance – which was shown in Eternal fate So far – then 4K gaming could become more affordable in the PC world.
Nvidia is even trying to go beyond 4K with its monster RTX 3090 graphics card, which promises 8K games for PCs. AMD is also preparing to launch its next line of Radeon cards based on the RDNA 2 architecture, which includes hardware accelerated ray tracing and variable rate shading. This is the same architecture that the Xbox Series X / S and PS5 operate on. AMD could help bring the price of 4K PC games down, but we won’t know until October.
All of this next generation hardware is an exciting end to a challenging year for the gaming industry and the world at large. The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has changed the way we all work and socialize. Games are an important way to keep in touch with friends, family, and co-workers, and are a useful escape from the stress of an unusual year.
We are only a few days away from the next generation of PC graphics cards and exactly two months from the launch of the Xbox Series X / S. It is now up to Sony to evaluate and date the PS5 and Nintendo in order to lead the Switch towards 4K. Welcome to the next generation of games.