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Gaming drives the wildest PC experiments



At CES, PC gaming companies are seeing an upswing with experimental and sometimes fancy devices that may never see daylight again. However, what companies and consumers learn from these experiments could become new, indispensable features of the products we will be using in the coming months and even years. As a result, CES has become the zero point to take a look at the future of PC gaming. And as the market continues to grow, more and more companies will try out radical ideas.

This year, for the first time in years, Alienware unveiled its Area 51M laptop with user-replaceable processors and graphics cards, while Asus released the "Mothership," a giant portable desktop gaming PC with an integrated display keyboard. Acer has given us a $ 4,000 Triton laptop that packs the best components you can buy into a convertible display that folds into a tablet thanks to its CNC-machined aluminum hinge.


The Alienware Area 51M can be easily replaced to replace both CPU and GPU.
Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge

Nvidia also introduced its new RTX mobile graphics chips, which offer unprecedented performance and new and exciting graphics features such as raytracing to gaming laptops. Monitors became more monstrous: bigger, wider, more functional and even wearable. It has never been a better time for peripherals because gaming mice and keyboards, as well as headsets, are getting cheaper and of higher quality. Even RGB lighting makes impressive leaps, like the new shockingly tiny and more efficient new Capellix LEDs from Corsair. (One notable exception was Razer, the company had come up with its first game monitor, but it's been a while since we've seen it do something like its three-screen project laptop.)

The gambling sector is One of the few areas in the broader PC market in which taking risks, thinking outside the box, and simply producing strange things is not advocated, not because this is necessarily in big sales for these products, but because they are always one step ahead Competing in a highly competitive market means that your business can expand the boundaries of sophisticated products such as mice, keyboards, and monitors.

Enthusiasts are often excited They are ready to spend thousands of dollars a year on new games, PC hardware and accessories, and although they are not always hooked on expensive high-end experiments such as Alienware's Area-51M or Asus & # 39; Mothership are interested, they are more willing o Buy an Alienware gaming laptop or an Asus ROG gaming monitor when these companies develop new portable display technologies or configurable gaming notebook designs.

In addition, companies like Alienware, Asus, and Razer do not need to make money from strange, fancy products. These types of announcements deserve brand awareness and headlines, while most of the money comes from simpler mainstream products that allow them to produce just a few hundred units of an enthusiast machine designed as a fun project.

The PC gaming market is adding new players every day, thanks in part to the rise of Twitch streamers and e-sports, mega-hit games like Fortnite and the increasing ease and affordability of that, what was once an expensive and niche hobby. These new customers have no brand loyalty and they may want to buy their first reputable PC with peripherals and monitor. With a laptop that can turn into a tablet, Acer is on CES and is a way to make the Acer aware of the radar of a potential buyer of ordinary laptops or gaming monitors.

But where everything comes together to form a coherent vision of the future, it's how these experiments can be combined with real, meaningful forward movements in PC performance and design. The Alienware Area-51m is a monstrous machine with a battery that keeps it alive for over an hour and keeps the game alive, but the fact that you can disassemble it completely and reassemble it with another GPU is remarkable. And thanks to Nvidia's efforts to make laptop GPUs almost as powerful as desktop computers of the current generation, thanks to RTX we can soon live in a world where you can uncompromisingly play on a laptop and GPUs each Upgrade laptops 3 years.

When it comes to portability, what may seem stupid and unnecessary today could be practical and powerful in a few years. You may never feel the need to play with a desktop graphics processor in a hotel room with the experimental Neo Art display from Asus Mothership or LG Display, or with your PS4 Pro in a portable suitcase rig Gaems Guardian. However, all are testing a future in which playing with PC-class portable PCs may become less of a do-it-you-can luxury and more of a common practice for a generation of players playing and streaming online every day , And the components that are being developed and procured to enable these experiments, such as the detachable wireless keyboards and integrated displays, can lead to more mainstream products.

Well, it's easy to see CES, especially the games sections of the show, as a place to see products that nobody wants and that may not ever be delivered just because a company shows something and His brand wanted to hit a booth here in Vegas. The PC, however, is the backbone of the fast-growing streaming market, which saw nearly seven times more viewers than Netflix at 434 billion minutes last year, not to mention billions of dollars in the e-sports industry. This means that the PC has never been so exciting, vibrant and much more important to the broader gaming industry than it is now. What we saw this week proves that there is still a lot of new ground in terms of performance, portability and design in .


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