It is no secret that the mining bubble has left without new GPUs to be able to buy the fans of video games on PC, who differ from those of the console by always looking for the highest image definition and being up to date. But the situation also affects the industry itself, we explain the reasons behind it.
Consequences of the gaming hardware shortage
Today it is impossible to buy a graphics card if you want to mount a new gaming PC or expand the capabilities of the one you already have. Which means that the PC gaming enthusiast market has been completely slowed down in its traditional advance. The problem with shortages is that it brings with it huge price increases, which makes it prohibitive for the bulk of the market to have a gaming PC.
Make no mistake, although the RTX 3080 and the RX 6900 XT are graphics cards that we would all like to have in our PCs, the reality is very different and not everyone can afford hardware at prices. If to this we add that said shortage has raised prices to the stratosphere then we find that the market for PC games has entered a technological stagnation that is more than clear.
Technological stagnation is also bad at a time when a new generation of consoles is coming out, which technically ages over time, but in the launch period of a new generation they offer enough power in their processors to look at the face to the PC. Every new user of consoles becomes a user who leaves the PC temporarily and vice versa.
But it turns out that we are having stock problems on consoles and even so due to the mining bubble we do not see a growth in the purchase of gaming hardware among users. This was the ideal time for many people to upgrade their old graphics cards and step up.
Ray Tracing is the future
There is no doubt that we are facing a transition period towards Ray Tracing, especially since rasterization has reached a point where its limitations do not allow the graphics to be scaled further because rasterization does not represent the transport of the light, especially from indirect bounces.
But ray tracing requires that people have the necessary hardware to make the leap, which in PC means that people have graphics cards with the necessary capabilities such as the AMD RX 6000 and the NVIDIA RTX 2000 and RTX 3000. . The problem? Its stock has completely disappeared and people cannot afford it to be able to use Ray Tracing in their favorite games.
For the use of a technology to be standardized on PC, it is not enough to support the game code, but there must be a sufficient user base with said hardware. In the case of Ray Tracing, it is not only on PC but also on consoles, which are also affected by the shortage.
Planning has been affected
The shortage of gaming hardware, both on PC and consoles, has affected the development of new video games. The lack of stock of the new generation consoles has caused that a good part of the games that were originally designed for the new consoles will also be released for the old generation.
In the PC market where a significant bulk of the games are console-to-PC conversions this also affects, since despite NVIDIA’s investment in getting games that take advantage of the latest technologies, the number of games that take advantage of them will decrease. And not due to the inability of the latest generation hardware in PC, but due to the fact that it is not available in a sufficient number of users who are going to play games with these GPUs.
Today’s games take many years to make and financial and personnel planning is something that is important to do in the early stages. Being late creates delays and problems that add to the already high production costs of the games, which is counterproductive. To this must be added the problems derived from the pandemic, where the production of the different studies is much lower than what they had initially planned.