Interest in gaming has increased exponentially in recent years and the biggest titles are now amongst the most profitable entertainment products of all time. As people spend more time indoors due to lockdown guidelines, gaming is being widely recognized for the cognitive benefits it offers, as well as its virtual sociability and entertainment value.
As a fast-moving industry, developers are always looking to deliver even more benefits with better hardware, more immersive gameplay and hyperrealism. With potentially big changes on the horizon, here’s what you need to know about the future of gaming…
So far, VR hasn’t revolutionized the industry, at least on a consumer level. Although some gamers have taken the plunge and bought VR headsets, this style of gameplay remains somewhat niche, rather than being the norm.
However, that’s set to change. Major tech companies, like Microsoft, Sony and Google, have invested too much in VR to let it fall by the wayside. What’s more – bringing games to life via virtual reality can genuinely offer a better experience for gamers. When it comes to immersion, there’s really nothing comparable.
One of the major obstacles in making VR more mainstream has been the need to purchase extra hardware. Until relatively recently, the big bucks required to obtain the gear needed meant that only a small number of people were prepared to make the investment. As the hardware becomes more affordable, however, it’s likely that a growing number of gamers will decide it’s worth the risk.
For avid gamers, the idea of spending a large chunk of money on the right hardware isn’t anathema. As highlighted on review and build sites, like https://levelupyourgear.com, gamers are happy to invest in their setup, providing it offers good value and quality. If VR hardware can be enhanced to improve comfort and flexibility, a high price point won’t necessarily prevent it from becoming more mainstream.
Of course, adding VR functionality to your setup is only worthwhile if you’ll be able to enjoy your favorite titles in virtual reality. As yet, not many developers have released official VR content, which means gamers have had little incentive to upgrade. With big firms backing the move, however, developers won’t just be using VR in-house as a production tool. Instead, you’ll see an increasingly large number of titles being re-released with VR add-ins and newer titles offering VR experiences as standard.
AI isn’t anything new in the gaming world but that may not be something every gamer is aware of. Gaming companies have been using artificial intelligence to create open worlds and content for a long period of time. As AI continues to develop, however, the benefits it offers increase too.
Although AI is a staple tool for today’s developers, there is uncertainty about how it should be used within gameplay. Bestowing non-player characters with AI would give a game endless possibilities, for example, but too much flexibility and uncertainty could render a game unenjoyable.
There is one way in which AI is already having a direct impact on gaming, however, and that’s via data collation and analysis. A vast amount of data is collected to provide developers with insight into how gamers play, what they enjoy and what they don’t. Now that this data can be effectively analyzed using AI, tweaks and upgrades can be made to enhance play based on real-time feedback and gaming behaviors.
AR has already shown just how popular it can be within the gaming world, so it’s not surprising developers are making it a major part of the industry’s future. If the success of Pokémon in AR is anything to Go by, augmented reality could be the next big winner.
Effectively combining virtual and physical worlds, Pokémon Go took AR gaming into the mainstream. Experienced gamers and complete noobs were entranced by the mix of real-world locations and digital assets, which meant record-breaking profits were in sight.
As 5G technology begins to roll out, the potential for more AR titles and a wider audience increases too. Without a high-speed internet connection, users simply can’t take part or enjoy AR titles. As it’s integral to the success of the phenomenon, developers may be waiting until 5G is standard in major markets to release more content.
One thing’s for sure, however, technology that offers exceptional profitability won’t be overlooked by developers. Despite being free to download, Pokémon Go generated over $3 billion in sales. With the potential to match or even exceed this target, you can expect developers to be focusing heavily on the AR market.
Preparing for the Future of Gaming
Avid, amateur and ad hoc gamers are all waited with bated breath to see what’s next for gaming. While rumors continue to swirl, it’s unlikely that major breakthroughs will be announced any time soon. Instead, new consoles, hardware, and titles are likely to be pushed back until late 2020 at the earliest. With lots to look forward to, however, you can be sure that the future of gaming will be worth waiting for.