In an interview during CES 2024, MSI confirmed that it is already working on a new version of its MSI Claw console. Announced on the first day of CES, the manufacturer states that its notebook had a two-year development cycle, and that it plans to maintain a cycle of up to three years to launch the MSI Claw 2, Claw 3, and so on.
According to MSI, the product itself was ready for the market much earlier, but could not yet be launched as it used the new Intel Core Ultra 100H processors, Intel’s major launch in 2023. For this reason, the presentation of the notebook had to wait Intel’s own announcement, and took advantage of CES to reveal the console in a highly visible event.
MSI’s strategy for MSI Claw reinforces the trend that miniaturization of powerful hardware is creating new product segments. Looking back, before Nvidia’s Pascal cards, the popularization of high-performance gaming notebooks seemed inconceivable, and today it constitutes a market highly targeted by hardware manufacturers.
In addition to serving as a gateway for many new users to the PC Gamer universe due to the convenience of a “plug-and-play” platform, the power of some current models also attracts veterans looking for portability. Apparently, the new Intel and AMD APUs with integrated Arc and RDNA graphics opened the doors to the new step in the evolution of notebooks.
Despite some occasional failures – yes, the PS Vita -, historically the portable sector has always had its place when we analyze the success of the GameBoy, Nintendo DS and, more recently, Nintendo Switch. However, the limitations of compact hardware meant that they did not compete with the mainstream gamer segment, but moved in parallel.
Now, it is possible to play the same AAA titles on devices a little larger than some smartphones, and much lighter than notebooks with dedicated GPUs. This evolution is even more interesting for game developers, who no longer need to launch specific titles for more limited hardware.
Naturally, the PC Gamer market for high-end desktops and notebooks should not be threatened, at least for now, as they deliver the best possible graphics quality. However, it is possible to understand that MSI’s bet, and possibly also that of ASUS, Lenovo and Vale, is correct, and portable consoles are here to stay, justifying new products in cycles following the generational leaps of APUs.
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