Some of us can still recall when we purchased our first Nintendo Entertainment System. We were taken aback by the 8- and 16-bit graphics; amazed at their realism and the magic behind it all. It would be quite interesting to travel back in time and supply the gamer of the 1980s with the technology at our fingertips today. We have come a long way in a mere 30 years and this evolution is increasing at an ever-frenetic pace. So, what does the future hold and what innovations can we expect to enjoy? Let’s take a look at some common and awe-inspiring predictions.
Augmented Reality is on the Rise
Many users tend to confuse augmented reality with virtual reality (VR). Augmented reality provides players with real-time digital overlays that can be controlled and manipulated. The most prevalent example has been the veritable craze over Pokemon GO. This and other applications have gained an even greater prominence thanks to modern mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones. If the present trend continues, augmented reality platforms are here to stay.
The Fall of the VR Headset?
It seems as if only yesterday we were hearing about how cutting-edge hardware such as the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive were set to take the gaming industry by storm. Unfortunately, such predictions have failed to materialize. While this has frustrated developers, it should not come as such a surprise. For one, the average headset is bulky and uncomfortable. Its physical limitations are noticeable and only a limited number of games are available. Perhaps more importantly, these are not what one would term cost-effective devices. There are some who predict that such headsets will not catch on until their prices drop; a reasonable assumption when referring to the credit-conscious consumer.
This concept began to take off after the introduction of the Nintendo Wii. There are now a number of third-party developers getting in on the action. Casingdom are shaking things up through the highly anticipated release of an integrated wristband that supplies a mild electric shock every time a player makes an error. Appropriately dubbed “Shock to the System“, the main principle is that developers want to provide participants with even greater levels of fun and excitement. This is just one example of how traditional board games are incorporating technology into their designs.
The Reluctant Departure of the Console Generation?
In the past, the majority of high-definition games were associated with stand-alone consoles such as the Sony PlayStation or the Microsoft Xbox. Unfortunately, these were not exactly cheap products and many could simply not afford them. Developers will need to rethink their strategies if they hope to keep the console market afloat. Thanks to cloud-based gaming and 4K Internet connections, players can now access similar products without the use of such bulky hardware. While this might not exactly spell the end of the console generation, there is no doubt that we should fully expect their prices to drop in the future.
The Streaming Future
Users will be pleased to learn that the days of the bulky download may soon be over. The prevalence of cloud storage and data streaming signify that even the most advanced games can be played without any type of installation. There may even come a time when the entire industry is based within the digital domain.
There is no doubt that we are currently living within the “golden age” of gaming. With so many innovations ahead, one can only imagine what the future may hold.
Photo by: Jeff Leigh