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Rahul Sood predicts: gaming hardware as we know it is doomed

by Parm Mann on 15 January 2009, 16:41

Tags: PC Gaming, Hewlett Packard (NYSE:HPQ)

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Rahul Sood, founder of VoodooPC and now CTO of HP's global gaming business, is never too shy about making industry predictions for the coming year.

For 2009, he's keeping in tune with the economic gloom by claiming that both gaming PCs and consoles as we know them are doomed.

Back in December '08, and we might add to our delight, he declared that "the days of the gas guzzling SUV PCs are dying", referring, we hope, to the likes of Acer's monstrous Predator.

the PC with four GPUs, a 2-kilowatt power supply, 16 gigabytes of memory, and a stack of hard drives is all but distant memory, at least for the PC gamer

Rahul's argument is that the days of splashing out large amounts of cash for the extra one or two frames-per-second are long gone. Today, the consumer wants a low-power and low-cost gaming system, a fact that should, he adds, bring an end to "wicked-stupid hardware requirements" in the latest video games.

In his predictions, he states that the likes of AMD and NVIDIA will need to dramatically alter their product roadmaps for a chance of survival. Putting forth his argument, he states that he himself can't justify spending $500 on a graphics card, and he consequently can't fathom trying to sell such a product as part of HP's Voodoo-branded gaming PCs.

If that harsh-but-possibly-valid attack on the PC gaming market wasn't enough, he's today adding to the flames by claiming that consoles as we know them are also doomed.

So, as is the case with PC gaming, console gaming may survive, but I guarantee you the typical console business model of today is pretty much dead. I also believe that as long as we play our cards right, the future of PC Gaming is very bright.

According to Rahul, Sony and Microsoft - who couldn't have seen the economic gloom coming - opted to lose money on each console sold in the hope of breaking even or becoming profitable through the sales of games and accessories.

Though he believes Microsoft has a chance of success due to its PC-gaming roots and connections, he adds that Sony may struggle due to gambling on Blu-ray. Next time around, predicts Rahul, both Sony and Microsoft may need to consider the Nintendo approach - ensuring profitable margins on every console sale.

His arguments make for an interesting read, and you can read both articles in their entirety at the following URLs:

The Gaming PC As We Know It Is Doomed
The Console as You Know it is Doomed

What do you think of Rahul's forecast for gaming in 2009? Share your thoughts and opinions in the forums.

HEXUS Forums :: 13 Comments

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i wouldnt pay that much for a card but i know plenty of people that would even in these testing times.

What he should have said is we are not gonna make a $500 card cos it will be SH**
He hasn't seen the guys that actually buy expensive setups then ;)
I think if you look at the low power HP machine that was on Hexus the other day, he might be on to something.
Really it is relative PC and Console Hardware specifications as we know them that are doomed. I dunno making money up front seems to be the crux of the matter.

This leads me to one point, the Xbox 360, sure in marketshare it is beating the PS3, but doesn't MS's Xbox division cost them way more than Sony's PS division?

As for PC gamers, you may get more lapsed PC gamers back in if hardware specs become more realistic for the average Joe.

PC gaming won't change (beyond normal change) and neither will console gaming, the platforms will just be less powerful. However last time I checked Half Life 1 and MGS 1 were still hardcore experiences.
DRM is ruining PC gaming.