Console PC Convergence

I grew up playing video games, I play video games now, and I will continue playing the for the foreseeable future. I imagine that many of you Unix users are quite similar to me in that regard. Anyways, as I kid I grew up on a gameboy color, and both the PlayStation 1 and PlayStation 2. Nowadays, I am far too fixated on PC gaming to bother with gaming on consoles anymore, but the PlayStation 4 announcement that happened just recently really caught my attention.The system will run on an AMD-based x86 processor. That’s certainly a first for a game console. I know that Linux has been installed on PlayStation 3s before, but the performance wasn’t anything spectacular because the kernel is generally optimized for x86 processors. Assuming Sony doesn’t prevent other OS from being installed (I certainly wouldn’t put it past them) one could potentially install any modern distro of linux onto a PlayStation 4 and be able to use it as any normal computer would. In fact, one might even be able to get Windows up and running on one (as interesting as that would be because Microsoft is Sony’s competitor in the console arena). On the other hand, rumors about Microsoft’s next Xbox console suggest hardware that is quite similar to the PlayStation 4’s. We can most likely expect to see an AMD x86 CPU in that console as well. Considering this, Microsoft definitely has the capability of installing their Windows operating system on their Xbox consoles. It would certainly be interesting to see that happen. People nowadays expect their devices to have multiple uses. Nobody uses telephones anymore; we all use smartphones that can surf the web, run apps, and call people. I expect the same multipurpose functionality to become part of the game console experience too. If not this generation though, maybe the next. Perhaps one day consoles will just disappear from the gaming market altogether, and nothing will be left except for gaming PCs.

2 thoughts on “Console PC Convergence

  1. I think that would be really cool if we could use our gaming consoles like they were a regular PC. You definitely bring up a good point that we expect all of our electronic devices to be able to do multiple things. When we have thinking like that, it only makes sense that we would want our gaming consoles to have that same capability. I’m interested to see exactly how Sony and Microsoft decide to implement a real OS onto their respective devices. The idea has a lot of potential to revolutionize the video gaming industry.

  2. I agree, console gaming will continue to develop along this path. I feel like two or three generations of consoles into the future, they will be mass produced gaming desktops with an eye catching form factor, specialized operating system, and native controller support. However the respective companies will do everything in their power to “protect” their designs and edge out the competition, so I wouldn’t expect to see the barriers break down between consoles. You’ll still have to get software for “an xbox” or whatever. Maybe one day everything will merge into PC gaming, with the consoles becoming support and delivery software similar to steam. New versions of the “xbox” would come out, but they would just be mass produced bang-for-your-buck gaming PC’s. Then the Microsoft software would sync your existing games to your new device.

    I like how technology naturally evolves, kind of a cool concept. Google’s project glass comes to mind for smartphones, removing the need for a screen entirely. I can’t wait to get myself one of those.

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