The video game console market is currently a duopoly: two manufacturers (Sony and Microsoft) have divided the market among themselves, with Nintendo standing strong in its own category. Sony and Microsoft are competing with each other and with the gaming PC market when it comes to high-performance features but the things are balanced for now. Competitors like the upcoming next-generation Mad Box console may stir up the waters a bit but right now, no analysts are expecting it to be a resounding success. But what can we expect from the next-generation consoles, given the fast and significant evolution of PC gaming hardware?
The best gaming PC today
If the price is not an object, the absolute best gaming hardware you can own is a gaming PC. A modern-day motherboard can handle two or three Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti graphics cards in SLI, gigabytes of RAM, SSD M2 storage, and either an AMD Ryzen or an Intel Core CPU to complete the setup. Configurations like this (perhaps even lesser ones) can run games at insane FPSs even in native 4K and with HDR. The current generation of gaming consoles is no match for this insane performance. What the current consoles offer, in turn, is a more than decent performance at a price that’s several times below the gaming hardware described above.
Console gamers have to make do with more limited performance. In turn, they get subsequent game releases that work great on their existing hardware (without the urge to constantly update and tweak their configuration), hardware that’s “good” for more than a season, and a selection of exclusive titles that, for many, make it worth.
Only one of the two gaming giants has announced the specifications for its upcoming console – Sony revealed some details about its PlayStation 5 not long ago (even though it’s not expected to be released in 2019). According to the information revealed by system architect Mark Cerny to Wired, the new console will have an “advanced” AMD Ryzen CPU coupled with a GPU built on the AMD Navi architecture (7nm, set to be released sometime this year), capable of ray tracing, a feature reserved for high-end gaming PCs until this time. Besides, it will support native 4K and probably 8K as well (although there is no word on whether the 8K part will be upscaled or not).
The PS5 is expected to be compatible with the existing PSVR gear.
When it comes to Microsoft’s upcoming consoles, there’s nothing but rumors available as of today. Reportedly, the Redmond giant is working on successors to both the One S and the One X consoles, (code names Lockhart and Anaconda, respectively). The first model is expected to have a performance similar to the currently available Xbox One X with a few tweaks, and the one called “Anaconda” may be the true next-generation model. There is no word on the performance of this upcoming model but rumors speak of the processing power of over 10 teraflops. And there is no word on the potential release date of the upcoming next-gen Microsoft console.
None of these consoles will likely be released this year – so if you are a console fan, you can start saving and buy them as soon as they are released.