NVIDIA just held its GTC China 2019 keynote this week, during which, some pretty explosive claims were made. The claims center around the top-end line of green team GPUs, the RTX2080 and RTX2080TI. These two PC hardware components are billed as massive upgrades for top-end gaming, and the line was further expanded with the RTX2080 SUPER. And now, NVIDIA claims that this line is a better investment for gaming going into 2020m based on new statements from NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang about next gen consoles.
In short, Huang claims that both the RTX2080 and the RTX2080Ti will be more powerful than either PS5 or the next Xbox console. It’s hard to know exactly what NVIDIA is basing this claim on though. Microsoft recently revived previously dropped plans for a weaker Xbox Series X console in Lockhart. And it’s not clear if NVIDIA is comparing the RTX2080 line to this or more powerful hardware from Microsoft.
One might be fooled into thinking that is an obvious conclusion based on a few different factors. The AMD or NVIDIA GPUs that often power graphical processing for gaming consoles are often scaled-back and heavily customized versions of other chipsets. This leads to the conclusion that neither company obviously has a low-cost GPU that can outclass their top-end $500 to $1,000 GPU lines. That part seems obvious, and some might assume that it means that console power would always be weaker than PC gaming platforms.
The one major point to note here is that consoles excel at one particular point, gaming. These platforms don’t need to be designed to handle a ton of different instruction sets and applications like normal PCs. Consoles will make use of the same basic engines and APIs as PCs, but they’re not really competing for the exact same market. Also, the optimizations made to the console architecture and software allow it to punch above its weight a bit and deliver a more streamlined gaming experience. The fact is though, consoles don’t need to beat PC. The target market for low-cost gaming hardware is slightly different from the average PC market. Most of the time, there’s plenty of overlap thanks to exclusives as well.
So considering that, NVIDIA claiming that they’re still ahead of the mark set by next year’s consoles, is pretty damning. There’s still a power gap between consoles and PC in general performance and visual fidelity. And with the push into 4K 60-120 FPS gaming on consoles, the gap seems to be narrowing.
The RTX2080 will no doubt be a beast in the PC space, assuming NVIDIA manages to keep that lead they hold in the GPU space over rival AMD. And with NVIDIA pushing into new markets, like their new START cloud effort in China, it will be a very competitive 2020. AMD hasn’t been caught sleeping either, the company recently revealed their answer to PhysX, FEMFX, a new physics simulation software suite.