Recently, Nvidia’s CEO Jensen Huang claimed that Nvidia-powered gaming laptops will beat the PS5 and Xbox Series X to be the most popular ‘console’ in the world – a pretty bold claim, but how likely is it?
Even without knowing the specs of the PS5 and Xbox Series X, there’s a good chance that gaming laptops will be able to match the two upcoming consoles when it comes to performance.
Games consoles these days should last around five years before another generation arrives, so even if only the most powerful gaming laptops will be able to compete with the PS5 when it launches at the end of 2020, you can be sure that in five years’ time, the majority of gaming laptops will.
While power isn’t a concern, price certainly is. We don’t know much about the PS5’s price at the moment, but it’s a decent bet that it will be under $500/£500. While that’s pretty expensive for a game console, it’s impossibly cheap for a gaming laptop, and I have a feeling that the PS5 will certainly beat gaming laptops at that price for a good while – especially if Sony realizes the PS5’s 8K gaming ambitions.
Sony will be able to keep the cost of the PS5 down by buying components in bulk. That’s the benefit of having a single company behind a hugely popular product. Gaming laptops don’t have that luxury – they are made by loads of different manufacturers. While this has its benefits – primarily more choice for the consumer – it means the cost of building gaming laptops is higher, and that cost is passed on to the customers.
Sony and Microsoft will be vying for the same market, as well, so we could see each company selling their consoles at a loss in a bid to get the upper hand. After all, they can make up the money they lose by taking a cut from the games they sell, as well as their PS Plus and Xbox Live subscription services, again something laptop makers can’t do.
So it’s highly unlikely there will be a gaming laptop that will match the PS5’s price and performance at launch – unless Nvidia starts giving away its GPUs to laptop makers for free. Something I don’t think the company will consider.