PS5 and Xbox Series X. Those are the big names in console gaming we're expecting to read a lot about this year. The third is Nintendo, which reportedly has no plans to release a Switch 2 or Nintendo Switch Pro to take on the other two.
However, GPU manufacturer Nvidia has waded into the fight, with one exec claiming gaming laptops were set to be "the most popular console in the world", during a recent conference call, despite the competition from Sony and Microsoft's heavy hitters.
During the call, in which Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang was discussing his company's Q4 earnings, Seeking Alpha (opens in new tab) reports Huang was lauding his GeForce RTX graphics solutions and his computers' power when it came to gaming.
Huang states: “The fact that we’ve been able to get RTX into a thin and light notebook is really a breakthrough... This is going to be the largest game console in the world I believe. And the reason for that is because there are more people with laptops than there are of any other device.”
Obviously Huang is a CEO privately espousing his company's success, so take this information with a large bag of salt. It's also debatable whether a laptop can qualify as a console.
However, if Huang can get enough laptop and notebook buyers with Nvidia's GeForce RTX graphics technology in their laptops to see the potential of gaming on computers, rather than on consoles, he could be onto a winner. It's effectively a console you can slip in a satchel.
As CFO Colette Kress claims retailers were stocking a record number of laptops with RTX graphical equipment in them, each laptop buyer has the potential to become a PC gamer, eating into Sony and Microsoft's market share.
Nvidia's RTX graphics cards are advertised as "the world's most advanced GPU architecture for gamers and creators". It utilises techniques such as ray tracing, a new method to ensure incredibly realistic lighting effects, to create immersive, realistic environments. Combined with a laptop's modular memory and the ease of using devices for both work and play, there's without doubt the potential to convert millions of laptop users into PC gamers.
We find it unlikely that PS5 and Xbox Series X will be so easily scared off by Nvidia and other laptop-gaming proponents. But with a new generation of gaming comes new challenges, and even a potential shift in power. We'll know more for sure as the year progresses, and we find out how the PC market responds to the new consoles.