In five years time, without PC-centric development, we could be maxing out 1080p at 100-plus frames-per-second on integrated graphics. GPUs might only be required for multi-monitor gaming, or GPGPU tasks. It sounds like a stretch, but it can go no other way. Heck, we could even be looking at a world where integrated graphics is all we require.
If games are developed on technology from 2005, by 2013 we should be able to run them decently with integrated video, so what does that mean for GPUs? It means they will have a shorter life than most people expect, at least in the gaming sector. Is this fear mongering? No. How can an industry be so affected by consoles? How can companies like NVIDIA, ASUS, GIGABYTE, start to experience issues if gaming development doesn't come back to PC.
It's the high-end market that will be affected and NVIDIA and AMD only push boundaries by making next-generation GPUs. Game engines are pushed by this development (well, they used to be) and competition amongst developers also helps. But technology drives the entire industry and we've experienced a stand-still since 2005.
Nokia used to be the king of the mobile world, but with the introduction of Apple and Google with their mobile operating systems, the once king is now having to partner up with Microsoft to stop from fading into oblivion. All kings are dethroned and I think the PC platform for gaming has been dethroned.
As with all great stories, the hero triumphs. The end-game is near for PCs and without radical change, high-end PC gaming will be gone as our expectations become lower and lower for spat-out, been-there-done-that gaming continues, ala Call of Duty.
I've covered these kinds of questions in my previous editorials, so let's lead into the real reason we're here - PC games need to be saved, and quick. What can do it?