With some developers prophesying the end of console gaming, suggesting that the next generation could indeed be the last, many are wondering where gaming will go over the next five, the next ten years.
Some say that it'll be mobile, with touch and gesture interfaces leading the way. The fact that over a billion people have downloaded Angry Birds and that there are barely a couple hundred million consoles owners, would to an outsider, seem as if that's already the case.
However some have suggested that Apple could soon be the next big name in gaming. Thanks to the introduction of its better than HD retina display technology, inclusion of high powered processors and more efficient Nvidia GPUs, perhaps in the future Mac's will be as common among “PC” gamers as the Windows operating system.
Of course, Macs basically are PCs, just with a different O/S and a closed internal hardware setup. In reality, when people talk about gaming on a Mac, they're really taking about gaming on OS X, the latest iteration of which, Mountain Lion, is being offered for a very small upgrade fee – making it much more accessible to the average Apple user who has likely already shelled out a lot of money for the hardware.
While the more technologically savvy PC gamer might laugh at Apple fans buying what could be considered overpriced kit, the average PC layman doesn't care what graphics card they have – they just want to run Skyrim at max settings. In this arena, while costly in comparison to building your own, Apple's desktops and notebooks could do very well, since the products look good, work well and come with that particular bit of Apple chic that fanboys lap up.
The fruity firm is also at the forefront of touch screen gaming, with its iPhone and iPad hardware being some of the most dominant in the market. Consoles like the Wii U and Xbox 360 with Microsoft's Smart Glass app, are now playing catchup, meaning we're likely to see a new generation of games released over the next few years that caters purely to this control type. While it's difficult to say if there are many real gems that stand out among games across all genres and mediums at the moment, it would be surprising if something didn't come along that blows everyone away soon enough.
If it does, you can guarantee it'll be Mac compatible, likely with a controller app similar to Microsoft's offering.
While the PC and consoles will continue to hold the foreground on gaming advances for a while yet, the increasing number of games being developed for both Mac and Windows – especially in the Indi arena – suggests that PC users won't be able to laugh at the limited library of titles playable on Apple laptops and desktops for much longer.
I'm just looking forward to Apple vs Windows gaming sessions. Which side will you be on?