Whether good or bad, technology have progressed astonishingly quickly in the last decade. I previously posted on the advances in graphics in the last few years. But changes in gaming will affect more than just graphics. Here’s a look at the pioneers and gaming advances that you can expect to see soon.
The Streaming Sensation
Forget physical games. If the gaming powerhouses have their way, you’ll be streaming your games online for a subscription in a phenomenon called cloud gaming.
By signing up for a subscription, companies have reliable and constant sources of income. Games are streamed right to you for a small fee. It’s happened in the film and music industry with Netflix and Spotify respectively, so perhaps that nostalgic stack of physical games may be a thing of the past.
It’s closer than you think too. Sony bought the streaming company Gaikai for a tidy sum of £242 million. Their site allows time-limited demos for major console games, including previously big releases such as Mass Effect and Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood.
With internet speeds getting faster and faster, the future of games consoles, ironically, may be console free.
David vs Goliath; Indie Games Revolution
Games are costing more to make. Developers aren’t getting a big enough slice of the pie; they’re dropping at an alarming rate, as publishers want more. Prices are increasing for more mediocrity in today’s market. Ubisoft has even stated they think Assassin’s Creed 3 will be one of the last games of the triple A juggernauts.
Where does that leave us? Indie games may be set to take over from their money-raking rivals. With the advancement of social media and internet, it’s easier than ever to do it yourself and get your work out there.
Underground games could well become something of a phenomenon, allowing developers more creativity, originality and input, something bigger developers and publishers tend to kill off in favour of continuity, churning out game after game in a series.
It’s the definitely the safe option, but how long can we stand another Mario Party or Final Fantasy?
Gaming Eye-Candy Graphics!
Sorry, but I couldn’t resist. They’ve been good in the past, but they’re going to get even better. Though graphics from recent console games like Killzone 3 and Halo 4 have been inspiring, PC graphics are already streets ahead and are leading the way. The new GeForce GTX 680 GPUs is the new kid on the block and producing stunningly realistic graphics on Unreal Engine 4. Take a look!
The PS4 looks set to smash even more boundaries with its new release and as more video gaming companies take a leaf out of film techniques to produce even better displays, the only way is upwards.
Handheld Consoles; Dealt a Death Blow
It’s going to be agonising and slow, but handheld consoles are going to be clinging on for dear life in the not-too-distant future. With Iphone apps delivering decent gaming experiences for throwaway change, the Nintendo 3DS and Playstation Vita are going to need to keep up with these trends if they are to stay alive.
Many apps are free nowadays, enticing you to spend money via in-game mechanics. In comparison, pay an extra tenner on top of that new DS game and you’ve got yourself a new console release. The hardcore gamers might lap up the better produced handheld games, but the gaming industry is there to make money. How long can they get away without appealing to a broader, more casual audience?
Microsoft has continually stated it has no plans to release a handheld console. With sales dropping at an alarming rate, it’s no wonder why.
It’s a sad affair, especially since the hours I spent wandering around knee-high grass with strange critters on the Gameboy was time well spent. It may be you’ll be playing all your mobile games on your phone suprisingly soon…
Enter Virtual Reality
It seems the immersive experience of virtual reality is the absolute goal of gaming. Strap some sort of futuristic headpiece on, plug into the most bizarre situation possible and shoot some stuff for real. Surprising as it may seem, it really isn’t as far away as you might have thought.
Take the Oculus Rift prototype headset. With a 110º diagonal view, stereoscopic 3D rendering and features to track your movement, the depth and detail possible is mind-blowing.
With backing from some leading gaming companies such as Valve, you wouldn’t want to bet against something similar knocking on your shelves in a frighteningly short period of time.
The technology is there, it is just how to best implement it into a godly gaming experience. And it seems they’re getting there, with Doom 3 the first compatible game. Just sit tight because it’s certainly not going away!
Taking the Good with the Bad
Sure, it’s not going to be all brilliant in the future. The developments that can be anticipated are looking increasingly exciting however. If we can get to a stage like this video, then we sure are in for a treat!