Some say that PC gaming is dying. It’s not. It’s just a little complacent at the moment.
As fewer and fewer games become PC exclusive and the power level of consoles rise every day, everyone with an interest in the PC gaming market begins searching for a hook. Some believe it’s the incredible performance capabilities of the most powerful computers that will draw people in. Others say it’s the thriving indie market. Some are even banking on community contributions.
If you’ve been keeping up with the coverage of CES 2017, however, then you’ll likely have noticed that there is a growing section of the market which believes that laptops are the future of PC gaming.
For years, the idea of gaming on a laptop was a lot like eating cereal with water instead of milk. It’s something someone does only if they have no other options. Given the most consumer laptops are severely underpowered, gaming on one required you to make certain sacrifices. While there is a growing amount of great games that are designed to run well on laptops and low-end desktops, many top major releases are still just outside of a laptop’s abilities.
Even with more powerful laptops, there are still sacrifices. Typically, you want to still use a mouse which means having to carry one with you wherever you take your device. Then, you have to deal with playing on a smaller screen. Get past all that, and you’ll still have to get past the fact that it’s not always easy to play most games on the go.
The new breed of laptops shown at CES and elsewhere are trying to change all that. They’re more powerful than many high-end desktops. They come with modifications like touchpads built specifically for gaming. One of them even comes with two additional built-in screens.
For every feature that these laptops sport, though, they each have a flaw. Acer’s Predator laptop is sleeker and more powerful than most desktops, but costs $8,999 and weighs almost 20 pounds. Razer’s triple screen laptop is a pipe dream at best that will likely cost too much for most people to even consider.
Actually, the most impressive all-around laptop exhibited at CES is also the most boring. Dell’s Inspiron I5 7000 lacks many design bells and whistles, but it is an undeniably powerful computer that at $799 is priced in a way that might inspire someone looking for a new laptop to spend just a little extra.
In the end, that’s what gaming laptops need to be at the moment. The key isn’t to revolutionize the industry overnight, but rather to convince people to buy their first true gaming laptop. Once that happens on a mass scale, then we can start dreaming of a future which includes transformer designs and jaw-droppingly powerful mobile machines.
At the moment, though, it would be nice if someone just made a better mouse.