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Launch of Next-Gen Consoles

The wait was a long one. Players from all over the world waited months, heard rumors from Sony, Microsoft, Nvidia, and their favorite YouTubers. Sony and Microsoft promised its future players much more in this generational leap as opposed to others. Now, consoles can render 8K games, ray-trace, run at a full 60 frames per second (otherwise known as fps) and at 120 fps, and even make the use of a Solid State Drive. Such leaps are necessary since modern PCs have been doing this for a couple years now. Not to mention that Sony and Microsoft have exclusives this year. This is no surprise from Sony since this is all they ever do. Iconic games like Bloodborne (developed by FromSoftware) and Horizon Zero Dawn (developed by Sony) were limited to the PS4 and the PS4 alone. (Horizon Zero Dawn came to PC some years later, but that was 3-4 years after its launch). This year, Demon’s Souls and Spiderman: Miles Morales are the exclusives. More are to come, but this is just the launch lineup of exclusives. Microsoft is actually making the new Halo game an Xbox exclusive, a new prospect for them but necessary nonetheless to combat the loyalty Sony commands among console gamers.

However, the consoles both launched with many problems. PS5 is having issues where, in the middle of playing your favorite game, the console shuts down and the only way to fix it is by hard resetting the console. In other words, you have to set it back to factory settings. The new Black Ops: Cold War has been crashing the Xbox Series X. The console giants have had a rough start. With that being said, not every console does this. It just seems that some consoles are having this issue, while other copies of each console seem to work perfectly.

Nvidia, on the other hand, promised its players tech beyond their wildest dreams in their new line of 3000 series Graphics Processing Units. (Essentially, a Graphics Processing Unit, otherwise known as a GPU, is what renders everything that a computer does, even something so simple as your user interface on your desktop.) Their previous Pascal architecture worked well, but this new architecture, dubbed “Ampere” by Nvidia, was made in collaboration with Samsung. The only difference between Ampere and Pascal is Ampere’s efficiency. It allowed Nvidia to fit more tech into a smaller space. As a result, the RTX 3000 series cards, namely the RTX 3050, RTX 3060, RTX 3060, RTX 3080, and RTX 3090, are actually smaller than the RTX 2000 series cards and the GTX 1000 series cards. Besides being smaller, it allowed for more power in one card and better cooling. This resulted in the RTX 3070, the mid-tier graphics card of current generation, being faster than the RTX 2080ti, the flagship card of last generation. And since it can be cooled more efficiently, packing all that power into a smaller space is not a bad idea since the card won’t overheat and shut itself down.

However, while Nvidia had a much better launch than did Sony and Microsoft, they had their share of problems, too. Manufacturers like MSI, Zotac, and ASUS, buy some of the original cards, overclock (force them to run faster) them, put 2-3 fans on them, and deal with the electricity problems revolving this. This usually is not a problem, as people have bought these kinds of cards for years. 

My current PC is still using a MSI-overclocked GTX 1080 and it works perfectly four years later. I have not had any need to do anything to it except to dust it out every so often. However, the current-gen overclocked cards have been shutting down and crashing. This is a problem whether you’re a gamer who needs the performance, someone who deals with data and cryptocurrency, or an average joe who just wants a fancy GPU. When the GPU shuts down, the entire PC shuts down. The GPU deals with all visuals in the PC, not just running your video games. Fortunately, though, this problem is quarantined to the overclocked GPUs, so any and all Nvidia-made GPUs should work as intended.

Despite each manufacturer having its share of problems, each and every one of these products are a good choice depending on what your interests are. Want to play Demon’s Souls, Spiderman: Miles Morales, and all of your favorite games on a console at a good 60-120 fps and get some free games every month just for owning PS Plus along with PS5? Go for PS5. Want slightly better performance, have friends who play on Xbox, and want Halo? Go for the Series X. Or if you prefer ray-tracing, 200+ fps, the ability to update the hardware at will and free multiplayer forever despite the greatly increased initial cost, the RTX 3000 series GPUs in a gaming PC would be the way to go.

Antonio “Tony” Mota is currently a junior in the Packer Collegiate Institute and the head of the technical side of the Packer Prism wesbite. He has written for the Prism before and is excited to continue contributing and to start managing the website. In his free time, you can find him hanging out with his friends, playing video games, browsing Reddit memes, or watching Netflix. A fun fact about Tony is that he aims to be trilingual, as he already knows English, Latin, and is beginning to learn Chinese. Tony can be reached at anmota@packer.edu.

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