NVidia’s current-generation of GPU technology (Kepler) is powerful and it’s ready now – see the impressive video below. But, NVidia has long-realised that desktop GPU’s are not the future – they’re being relegated to the niche of high-end enthusiasts. So whilst the laptop and mobile GPU’s will still see mass deployment for now, the high-end processing tasks are moving online.
Already we can see this happening with initiatives such as Onlive’s cloud gaming and desktop service (though when I tried it out, the gaming portion still had a noticeable amount of latency) and Amazon’s recently introduced it’s virtual Android application tester. Very rapidly, consumers are outsourcing the heavy lifting to far more powerful and scalable centralised systems, which of course means portability, compatibility and more consistent results. Essentially, next-gen console performance, on a low-power portable device – pending bandwidth. Combined with more efficient and entertaining games on increasing powerful phones and tablets, the day of the stand-alone home console/gaming desktop is rapidly looking shakier.
On a related note, if you’ve always thought of ray-tracing as the holy grail of graphics rendering, this article might interest you: http://theorangeduck.com/page/six-myths-about-ray-tracing