“Hey, you got your console in my PC1”
“No, you got your PC into my console!”
Most of you are either a PC gamer or a console gamer, rarely both. Sure, we all want to dabble, we go over to “the other side” every once in a while, but eventually, we all draw the line, and identify with one side or the other. Well, welcome to the technology of integration.
The concept of integration is not new – alarm companies have been doing it for 20 years – combining fire, burglary and access control systems with one master control panel. Finally, manufacturers are coming together and getting the hint that we want the best of both worlds.
We all know the problems of PC gaming – the God Forsaken installation, configuration and troubleshooting that will take you the entire day you took off from work to play the game in the first place. Even with the best hardware, you still may have problems, and there is rarely official support to assist, you will have to rely on community support like forums.
On the console side, there is little configuration, but also less opportunity for expansion. Also, you can’t expand your hardware to get the top of the line experience.
However, there are some that say PC = Freedom and Choice; Console = one size fits all take it or leave it, and the ideals of each side seem to be an ever present war.
There are some positives to PC gaming, all of those game genres are game forms that will make their way to consoles. Mods will come, include free to play and MMOs. The only real advantage that will remain for PCs is the willingness of users to upgrade at a faster rate. Consoles do need to keep it to a four year cycle, because technology changes too much each year.
Regarding gaming controllers, PCs have had gamepad support of all kinds since inception. Consoles however are just this generation adding things like demos, patches, digital downloads, alternative input support, and so on.
Well, there are finally some items that can possibly bring your PC into the console world, but in a good way. Take the Steam Box by Valve.
This little hybrid is a little console, a little PC, and uses Linux to run its operating hardware, but will obviously use Windows as the main base for the games that you load on it.
An up and coming hybrid box like this is the Piston, by Xi3.
Images sent by author
It’s supposedly powered by Steam, and while it has a few hardware options, it is intended to be mass produced, indicating that it is striving to be the next big thing in the console market, while seemingly marketing itself as a console. The main advantage of the Piston over a typical PC in the living room will be its small size, while the capability to upgrade the hardware over time could it more attractive than a traditional game console.Piston will have its own user interface that supports other services for gaming and video, not just Steam. That is what may bring this device into the next category of gaming – the hybrid.
Imagine a device that could play XBOX, PS4 and Wii titles, all on one device. Of course you would buy it, right? This device may be the beginning of something similar, where you could use many different pay services on one hardware. Much like a Roku, this device will eventually be small enough to sit behind or near your TV, and integrate into your system like the TV itself.
Author Bio: Jason Phillips is the writer to this article. He has written several gaming and technology related articles. Being a great fan of video games he joined the online gaming site Zombie Games 365.