Sometimes, as borders erode, new fissures form within their wake. In 2019, more games flowed between PC together with other platforms than in the past, though a single major division cracked laptop computer gaming landscape in two pieces.
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There are still some console exclusives, and PC gaming retains its unique identity through things such as mods, hardware configurations as numerous as grains of sand at the coast, together with its inextricable ties to YouTube and Twitch. More, the lines between these platforms are melting, and everybody’s ending back where infinite series and genres started: on PC. In regards to how companies decide to divvy that up, well, that’s a muddier and potentially uglier question.
Epic Games Store
Epic spent its year going toe to toe with Steam, but even when it, from time to time, had to support its behemoth weight because of its megalithic feetsy-weetsies, it stumbled. Certainly, Epic succeeded speaking about locking down high-profile timed exclusives, enticing aforementioned heavy hitters like Borderlands 3 and indies of every stripe alike with minimum guarantees on sales that’d help ferry companies in the gaming industry’s consistently choppy waters.
Steam made some real strides in regards to functionality this year, but its 2019 was defined, whether good or bad, by the opposition. In January, PC gaming’s premier one-stop-shop lost a severe first-person shooter, Metro Exodus, to fresh-faced multi-million dollar upstart The Epic Games Store. For this sudden platform exclusivity deal (Exodus was slated to launch merely a couple of weeks after), Valve stamped the game’s Steam store page along with a statement declaring the move to become “unfair to Steam customers.” Not long after, Steam users review bombed previous Metro games and sent harassing messages to developers, including original Metro book series author Dmitry Glukhovsky.
Xbox Game Pass for Laptop or pc
In May, Xbox Game Pass discovered Windows, bringing the console game subscription service to PC users. Through service is still in beta, games like Halo: Reach, Gears 5, plus the Outer Worlds were launch-day titles, making Game Pass for PC a reasonably attractive option. It’s not all PC games support cross-play or play anywhere, which prevents players from swapping smoothly between their PC and console, but Game Pass for PC continues to be a reasonably good deal, which will hopefully only get better.
Recently, both Valve and Oculus took their next bold steps right into a VR future, still limited by our modern living rooms. For the high-end crowd, Oculus released the Oculus Rift S, meant to replace the first Oculus Rift, with improved hardware as well as having the second modernized its Touch controllers. Valve, meanwhile, released its own VR headset, The Valve Index, that felt like a luxury successor to its 2016 collaboration with HTC, the Vive. However, within the Index’s case, mainly, VR remained a hassle to set up and use for every single regularity. This continued being a significant barrier to entry.
Last year’s cryptocurrency mining-induced GPU shortage was over in 2019, yet now we’re to being required to choose which vid card to purchase versus grabbing whatever we would still find located on the shelves. AMD and Nvidia continued their endless rivalry, with Nvidia releasing Super versions of its RTX 20 cards the last few months, while AMD fired back considering the Radeon 5700 and 5700XT. As our colleagues at Gizmodo wrote, the Navi architecture undergirding the AMD cards is going to figure big directly into the next generation of console gaming. Alongside Nvidia cards’ ray-tracing capabilities, 2019 felt less like giant leaps forward and even more such as a year of prepping for the future.
PC storefronts and launchers
While Epic and Steam were this year’s most prominent rivals, they aren’t the only PC storefronts. GOG, CD Projekt Red’s store, and launcher purchased a redesign in the last few months. Called GOG Galaxy 2.0, it promises the capacity to bring your different games—including console games—into one library, as well as friends list and achievements. While it’s still in closed beta, GOG Galaxy 2.0 is a step toward the dream of not having to decide between twelve launchers every time you need to play video game design degree.
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