The Nintendo Switch is dominating the portable gaming market; will it ever face competition? If so, it could be from portable PC/console hybrids.
Last year, Dell teased the Alienware Concept UFO, an Alienware gaming PC in the style of a portable console. Alienware, a boutique gaming PC brand, is owned by Dell and has always been associated with ‘desktop replacements'.
These are powerful laptops that offer many of the same benefits as some gaming rigs. Although committed PC gamers often scoff at such a suggestion.
Portable gaming seems to be a market that Sony and Microsoft are wary of venturing into. In Sony’s case, they have been burned twice.
But PC manufacturers such as Dell and Lenovo sense opportunity. Could their powerful gaming laptop technology translate well to a portable console?
Would it essentially be a portable gaming PC, like their laptops, but laid out in the style of the Nintendo Switch? The concept of the Alienware UFO seemed to suggest so when they showed it off at CES 2020.
A year later at CES 2021, Lenovo gave us a glimpse of their own gaming PC/portable console hybrid, the LaVie Mini. Like the UFO, this is a gaming laptop. But like the Switch, it features control pads instead of a mouse and keyboard.
The Nintendo Switch's Competition May Bridge The Gap Between Console and PC Gaming
The idea of a PC gaming/portable console hybrid may deter some PC gaming purists. To them, playing with a mouse and keyboard is the only way to enjoy games.
But to console gamers keen to make the transition to PC gaming, this presents a realistic gateway. Especially if they can hook the device up to their TV like the Nintendo Switch does.
Many console gamers shy away from PC gaming due to the mouse and keyboard. Or they simply find console gaming simpler and more convenient.
They understand that their friends playing on PC may be having an optimal experience, but for some, it's comfort that matters. They may even associate computers with work.
Console gamers like the idea of sprawling on their couch playing a game on a 50-inch TV screen more than huddled over a 24-inch monitor.
Other gamers may enjoy both consoles and PC gaming, but these new concept devices sure seem to bridge the gap.
It’s bizarre to consider it may be the other way around.
The Nintendo Switch is making all the headlines today; some suspect the Monster Hunter Rise demo has caused the eShop to go down.