Console gaming is in for a major upgrade this year, as both Sony and Microsoft will release brand new rigs featuring performance that will obliterate their predecessors. Custom chips from AMD and speedy solid-state drives should significantly boost speed and processing power, and both the PS5 and Xbox Series X are expected to enable totally new types of gaming experiences that players should love. But Nvidia thinks it has something even better than a dedicated video game console, a device that will become the most popular setup in the world for gaming: The laptop.
Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang addressed the matter during the company’s Q4 earnings report, via Seeking Alpha. The exec praised the company’s GeForce RTX graphics cards that have been adapted for use inside “thin and light notebooks:”
The second part of our business that is changing in gaming is the amount of notebook sales and the success of Nintendo Switch has really changed the profile of our overall gaming business. Our notebook business as Colette mentioned earlier, has seen double-digit growth for eight consecutive quarters and this is unquestionably a new gaming category. Like it’s a new game console. 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.
And so the fact that we’ve been able to get RTX into a thin and light notebook, a thin and light notebook is really a breakthrough. And it’s one of the reasons why we’re seeing such great success in notebook.
Huang is correct to assume that the more powerful laptops are when it comes to gaming, the more likely it is for laptop buyers to use those devices to play games. But that doesn’t mean that RTX GPUs are going to deliver a huge blow to consoles anytime soon, especially not the highly anticipated PS5 and new Xbox Series X.
We’ve seen several “console killers” over the years, and none of them turned out to actually put a significant dent in console sales. Huang’s claim that RTX-powered laptops could become the largest game console in the world falls into the same “console killer” category. However, there might be some truth to that, but we’ll have to wait a few more years to see if it pans out. The more notebooks with gaming-ready RTX GPUs laptop that vendors sell, the truer that remark will be. But not all of those laptops will be used for gaming or even bought with gaming in mind. And gaming consoles like the PS5, Xbox, and the Switch will probably continue to sell very well for a long time to come.
To put things in perspective, Sony sold nearly 110 million PS4 units over the course of seven years, while Microsoft sold around 50 million Xbox units during the same time. And in the past three years alone, Nintendo has sold more than 50 million Switch consoles.