With all of the new bells and whistles of the current gaming systems out there, it would be easy to overlook the PC gaming market. However, before you forget them altogether, just wait a bit longer for things to get crazy. Mind you, many of the following items are not yet available and many of the details could change before they are released. But here is general idea of what you can look forward to:
The Improved TV
The folks from Valve and the makers of Steam are working hard on SteamOS, a new operating system designed for the living room. With SteamOS you’ll have access to thousands of games viewed right from your TV. “As we’ve been working on bringing Steam to the living room, we’ve come to the conclusion that the environment best suited to delivering value to customers is an operating system built around Steam itself,” says the company website.
SteamOS will combine architecture from Linux with a gaming experience intended for the big screen. Your big screen. Soon, you’ll be able to play your favorite Windows and Mac computer games with your online buddies. See improved graphics processing and improved audio performance in a collaborative environment that you can currently only manufacture on your home office computer. The new system will allow parents to control who sees what, too. For instance, one game might be appropriate for big brother but not little sister. In addition, Valve is working with a number of media services to offer up access to music, TV shows and movies.
The New, New Virtual Reality
One the most exciting future technologies comes from Oculus VR. The new Oculus Rift device is a not-so-subtle 3D world generator that one straps onto his face. Imagine wearing a scuba mask with a black screen instead of a glass window – that will give you an idea of what this thing looks like. The black headset features ultra-low latency 360° head tracking. What that means in English is that the device will allow you to look around your virtual world just as you would in real life, which will create a more realistic and natural gaming experience.
The Oculus Rift will also be set up with a stereoscopic 3D view that promises to have an excellent depth, scale and parallax. The technology is different than what is currently set up for movies. The headset actually presents parallel images for each eye in the same way that your eye sees in the “real” world. It will provide about 110° field of view, which means that your virtual world will “stretch” beyond your peripheral vision.
The device looks huge, but the makers promise that the headsets will be as comfortable and lightweight as possible, comparing it to heavy pair of ski goggles. The Oculus Rift will support Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.
Modular Gaming PCs
Razer is going in a whole new direction with its Project Christine – a modular gaming PC where graphics cards, processors and hard drives that stack together and can be rearranged inside and outside of a larger frame. The sleek black boxes with rounded edges and trimmed with Razer signature green lines look cool, too.
Project Christine is promising “extreme” PC performance. “For more than 30 years, only the most hardcore enthusiasts were able to take advantage of PC customizability. Convoluted hardware made it insane for the average person: knowing what does what, what works with what, and how to connect the pieces,” states the information page on the website. “Project Christine is a revolutionary new concept design that allows users to build and customize PCs in any configuration without any prior technical knowledge.”
Christine is said to be “silently powerful,” meaning that she will stay cool, calm and collected under pressure. Each piece contains an active cooling liquid and noise cancelation materials. The components can be safely overclocked without voiding warranties and the device can be upgraded easily allowing a much longer life than current systems out there.
Origin PC also has its own variable mounting and expansion PCs, Genesis and Millennium. Again, you will have the power to control how your system is set up. Don’t like it? It can be re-arranged in minutes. The traditional black and red units can be custom painted to your liking, too. The Millennium is the basic case while the Genesis is taller system which contains extra cooling fans or hard drives, depending on what you want.
It’s a brave new world coming. Be careful out there.