Monday, 6 February 2012

Do we really need pcs any more?


fish[2]I have recently purchased a Asus Transformer Prime as a birthday present to myself (that’s not weird at all), as you may know if you follow me on twitter. And it got me thinking about all the million upon millons of pcs out there. Now I have pretty decent pc, probably several hunderd pounds worth (I always build my own with various upgrades at various times, so I couldn't rightly say how much), which I use a lot. However when I think about all the things I do with my pc, my new Transformer (or indeed any reasonably recent smartphone) can do the vast majority of it without breaking a sweat.

Things like typing a blog out, checking my emails and browsing the web. Hell somethings it arguably does better, such as dedicated twitter apps and easy to access news feeds. So what do I really need a pc for. The obvious answer is games, for instance today I have been playing Skyrim and  Space Marine, Skyrimand as much as I love my new tablet/netbook hybrid, I am realistic enough to know that there is no way that games like those will run on it.

Though that certainly doesn't mean that there aren't games to be played. As you are no doubt aware there are thousands upon thousands of games for both Android and those hipster Apple things. It might be true that they rarely have the  scope or depth of play of bigger pc (and console) games, but doesn't mean a lot of them aren't fun. Also there is a lot of initavtion in mobile gaming that it could be argued is severly missing from big titles. Of course if Onlive, or indeed a different streaming company, has it's way we will be transformer-prime-announce-leadhappily able to play games like Skyrim on netbooks, tablets and mobiles a like.

So am I saying that we should all give up our pc's and stick to our mobiles? Of course not. However it does give me concern that perhaps the in the future people, by which I mean none gamers, will simply stop buying new pcs, in fact the sale of new pcs has already started to show a decline, and that is what concerns me. The number of pc gamers out there, as a percentage of total pc owners, can't be that high a figure, I certainly don’t want that market to shrink. I love my PC to bits and it is not going anywhere, I am just concerned that the number of people like me are decreasing.
Check out my beautifully nasal tones.


Hex DSL said...

On live sort of makes gaming possible on thes. Devices

Hex DSL said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Roger Edwards said...

I do not own a tablet, although I'm sure one will be purchased before long. For me their attraction is primarily the consumption of data and not so much the creation of it.

I fully understand that they can be used for basic tasks, as stated in the article, but they cannot be used to edit a podcast or some more processor intensive activity.

I also like the formality of getting up in the morning and powering up my PC and sitting at my desk and working. I do not know if I would be so productive curled up on the sofa, one finger typing.

However, another downside of the PC is it's power consumption. I have a 750 watts PSU and it is on from about 07:00 each morning to about 02:00 each night.

That's a lot of power being consumed and with the way energy prices have increased these days, that is a big consideration.

Having worked on big rollout projects and watched offices getting kitted out with hundreds of new PCs, I cannot yet see tablets being standard issue to anyone other than senior management and mobile staff.

Once a user has fubar'd a tablet it has to be replaced. With PCs, their modular design make it easy to replace faulty parts and peripherals. Maintaining them is bound to be cheaper.

Plus giving staff a mobile device then raises the spectre of company data going off site, which is a real can of worms.

I think some industries will move to tablets or ultrabooks, but for a lot of companies, the desktop PC is a known and manageable quantity.

Hex DSL said...

@Roger - you turn your PC off????

I think the restriction of the tablet devices for 'creation' is more down to the infancy of the OS and accompanying software.

I seriously doubt that tab's will replace PC's for the likes of us (hard core writer/gamer nerds - yeah, I'm a nerd... I'm comfortable with that label) we need the more fluid environment of the desktop, hell for us lot laptops haven't even caught on :P

I think the PC will slowly fade into a server system more than a device we interact with directly i can see PC's becoming large Black things in the corner that serve us our raw power (much like onlive does now i suppose) but most interaction taking place on tablet devices.

Also, Storage is so much easier with a PC as a desktop now or as a server. i have a 1TB NAS connected my network but that pales in comparison to the storage potential of my PC. i have yet to see a Tablet device with that kind of storage.

food for thought i suppose, i may have lost my point some place back there.....

also, i don't own a tablet device, My phone is pretty kick ass though (HTC Sensation)