Jade Burke speaks to Aaron Coday, director of visual computing engineering at Intel, about IoT crossing over into the gaming market and why PC games are a force to be reckoned with...
With the gaming sector expanding, the PC market is becoming more lucrative. Analyst IDC predicts that PC gaming software and services will grow to over £14.5 billion worldwide between 2014 and 2017, as games such as Dota 2 and League of Legends continue their rise in popularity.
Intel has noticed this rise in demand for gaming, as Aaron Coday, the director of visual computing engineering, says: “Some people are saying that PC gaming is dying. I think if you look at it financially, it’s growing really well. By the end of 2013 there was a $23 million business just for PC gaming, and it’s expected to rise to $32 billion by 2017.”
Now, the company is planning to expand into the tablet and smartphone gaming market, after launching the Intel Atom, which is available for both Android and Windows. Coday explains the possibilities the CPU can bring: “The compelling thing about that platform is it uses the same graphics architecture as what our integrated graphics use in PCs, which allows us to do some really interesting things for both the tablet and PC side. It’s a really exciting space for us.”
New products for the PC gaming sector have also launched recently, including the Core i7-4790K, which features all new process levels and improved over- clocking, so gamers can push the boundaries of their CPUs. The Haswell-E will also be launching later this year, which incorporates a high-end Core processor. Better integrated graphics could provide less fussy gamers with an alternative to low-end graphics cards.
After noticing the increase in live game streaming, Intel has expanded its market by partnering with Twitch TV, bringing gamers a new streaming platform. Coday comments: “We took our technology and worked with Twitch TV to integrate it into our CPUs, as many gamers are streamers now.”
The incorporation of the Quick Sync video technology Intel has embedded within its 4th Generation Core processor now allows gamers to record their game whilst playing, which can then be streamed out via Twitch TV to fellow gamers.
With the Xbox One and PS4 consoles growing in popularity, featuring new graphics capabilities and gaming facilities, will PC gaming be seriously challenged by these new machines? It seems unlikely, as processors and innovative graphics solutions become a present fixture in the PC gaming market.
Coday says: “Prior to the most recent Xbox One and PS4, PCs were significantly ahead of game consoles. I would expect the broad PC system in a couple of years to be as good as, or better than the continuation of consoles.
“If you have enthusiasts they also usually play games on the PC and on the console, because there are games that you want to play on a PC and there are games that you want to play on a console.”
PC games also tend to have some advantages over console games, as Coday points out: “PC games have a lot more mobility too. When you can play Call of Duty at 1080p on an ultrabook, it means you can take it down to a café easily, it’s not quite the same as a games console.”
After witnessing a resurge of interest in the gaming market in its Q2 earnings report, Intel has noticed a growth in the PC system builder market. “If you have a proxy for the enthusiasts who are building, it seems to be pretty healthy,” adds Coday.
THE INTERNET OF THINGS
While products such as the NUC and the Gigabyte Brix (which feature Iris Pro graphics) have been well received, the company is planning to prioritise the opportunities surrounding IoT, which encompasses wearable tech, for example. However, the main focus for Intel is the new Haswell-E, which will act as a new ‘dream machine PC’ for gaming.
Coday adds: “We are going to continue focusing on the Iris Pro, and the new versions of those with the next generation of processors.”
IoT seems to be developing at an increasingly fast speed, however, is there a possibility for it to cross over into the gaming market? With devices such as heart monitors, a pulse rate could be examined during a game, which Coday believes will help to ramp up the difficulty and intensity of the gameplay.
Coday continues: “I think there’s a lot of innovation that’s definitely starting. It’s just not clear to me whether it’s going to take off yet.