Gaming PC, thou shall not be upgraded!

It feels a bit arrogant to call my computer a “gaming PC”. I mean, it’s just a PC with a graphics card in it, but I do use it for playing games – I have over 600 of them, lol.

My brother, who turns 50 next year (crazy!) has recently gotten his first “gaming PC” and already regrets getting such a low-spec model, even though it’s on par with a PlayStation 4. He’s already talking about upgrading it, and asked whether I will be upgrading mine.

“No, I’m going to downgrade”

I said, to his surprise and bewilderment. Then began a discussion about the future of gaming and I described how I believe we won’t need to have our own dedicated hardware in the future.

You will own nothing, and you will be happy

The internet and smartphones have made so many things redundant – FAX machines, CD players, DVD players, cameras, books, and even computers. We still send messages, listen to music, watch movies, take photos, read books and type reports, but none of the physical systems we used for them are necessary anymore. Why will gaming be any different?

Cloud gaming

Already, companies like Microsoft, Google. Sony and even Netflix have started streaming games that you can interact with from your phone, tablet or TV. So long as you have a screen and an internet connection, you can play games. Xbox Cloud Gaming is one example:

But streaming games is too laggy!

Yes, there’s a notable lag with fast-paced action games, but that doesn’t mean cloud gaming should be disregarded. Internet speeds across the globe have been improving quickly over the last decade, so those delays between pressing a button and seeing a response will soon be eliminated.

A dying breed

As early as 2025, you might find that streaming from a dedicated cloud gaming server, running the fastest CPUs with the latest graphics cards, can provide a better experience than your own local hardware. At that point, you might wonder whether you really need to buy a new computer at all.

And when you’re signed up on a game streaming contract, you probably won’t need to buy games anymore – just like with music. While some people still cling to their physical game discs, others will consider owning digital games a thing of the past.

Maybe get a Chromebook?

My PC has been continually upgraded over the years, but it’s a huge beast of a machine that purrs away in the corner of my room. It would be nice to reclaim that space, and all the power sockets it uses, by replacing it with a Google Chromebook. Maybe my brother will do the same.

If you like, you can find me on Twitter at @nick_ramsay. I'd love to hear from you!

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