The State of Gaming – June 2020

Written by Alex Maidment (nSanity Beach)

Gaming is a form of entertainment, a hobby, a story, a way to communicate, a way to spend time with friends and for some, a profession. For those that choose to invest their time in gaming and those that really believe gaming offers them a form of escapism, it is a powerful medium that gives people something to care about.

You’ll often see articles and comments on the internet about how gaming is a waste of time, something that kids should grow out of and in some cases, people even believe gaming to be damaging. There might be shreds of truth to all of those things, but realistically, it’s no different to losing yourself in a good TV show, film or even book.

It feels like we’re in the golden age of gaming, at least, it does for me. Every year, we’re graced by new technology which allows games to get better and better. Not just in terms of realism but how games are created and how accessible game development has come, allowing for new ideas and new games to enter the market all the time.

In 2020, we’re also lucky enough to see something that only happens every few years in gaming: a new generation of consoles. While PC gaming is updated month-on-month with the launch of new components, console gamers have to wait a long time between iterations. It pays dividends to be a PC gamer as you always have access to the latest technology and trends, but it’s also expensive and for many people inaccessible – after all, we can’t all have £2000 gaming rigs capable of running 4K.

Right now, we’re on the verge of what should be the greatest console generation in history – it might feel like every new console takes this role, but I’m not sure I would agree. In many ways, I had far more fun on the Xbox 360 generation than I did on the Xbox One generation and while the jump in technology isn’t going to maker the next generation loads better in terms of graphics, I’m hoping it will bring more fun back to gaming.

June is usually a time to really celebrate gaming as we see new games and creative at E3 in big presentations that make everyone excited, even PC gamers. This year is a little different.

PC components are harder to come by, and in some cases more expensive due to the global pandemic (Covid-19) and there are worries that the next generation consoles could even be limited in supply on launch. Plus, there’s that beast of a PS5 that’s finally been revealed. It’s a beast in that, personally, I don’t like the looks and it’s BIG, but also in terms of the specs that start to even stand up to high-end PCs. Yes, I know, PCs are still more powerful, have more options and are useful for other things, but regardless of this, consoles have something to offer this year.

Personally, I prefer the plain, mini-fridge Xbox Series X design to the Wi-Fi router style design of the PS5. If nothing else, that’s just because I want something that blends in to my media unit.

Consoles aren’t the only thing on offer when it comes to gaming hardware though, we’re also pretty excited to see the new AMD Ryzen range and the much anticipated new NVIDIA cards, the ‘3000’ series, which are already being touted as a future of 4K gaming potential – hopefully coming sometime in September/October.

Beyond hardware, there are also some great new games coming our way, and while Sony did a good job in delivering some exciting new titles, such as a new exclusive Spiderman game, a Horizon sequel, Horizon Forbidden West, a new Rachet and Clank game and more, we’re yet to see what Xbox are bringing in July – more Halo details, surely and maybe some other great new creative.

The next generation of gaming offers hope – a way for all players to come together regardless of the technology they choose to invest in – PC, Xbox, PlayStation and even Nintendo players gaming together on games that allow it. There will always be a place for exclusives but if nothing else, this whole pandemic has shown how much better we all are together than separately.

As the next few months reveal more and more as to what’s coming in the games industry, from new PC components to new consoles to lots of new games, I can only watch in awe as I see the state of gaming bring more and more people together enjoying a hobby and something they love!

Let’s all game together and enjoy what’s on offer!

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