Gaming has come a long way since the 1980s. Even in the past, most gaming technologies revolved around advanced graphics with games like Crysis setting the standard for what 3D graphics could do in 2007. While the quest for lifelike-graphics is constantly evolving, there are numerous other technologies that have advanced that deserve attention. Let’s take a look at 7 emerging gaming technology trends that will change gaming as we know it.
The Gameboy, 3Ds, and the PSP revolutionalized how we play video games, as we were no longer shackled to our home television set or arcade. Mobile gaming used to have the stamp of ‘casual gamer’ which many old school gamers saw as a negative stereotype, so mobile developers sought to remove that association. Now, anyone can play games from multiple genres such as RPGs, FPS, or puzzle games. As evidence from countless people using their mobile devices on their morning commutes, portable gaming isn’t going anywhere.
Facial Recognition and 3D Scanning
Facial recognition isn’t a new technology in gaming, but it’s only recently that 3D scanning has become good enough to actually do it properly. Sports games like NBA 2K allowed players to import selfies to play and create themselves as a basketball player. The Microsoft Kinect made it possible to control our games with the wave of a hand, but now we’re seeing facial recognition in the online casino industry as a way to verify your account at a virtual poker table. Slot machines have used 3D scanning in the past as well.
Optical media is quickly becoming an ancient form of viewing technology because of the space it takes in the house and its limited memory. Cloud-based gaming is the perfect remedy for this because it makes all visual media easily accessible. Soon, you’ll be able to browse a list of games and play them without downloading it, similar to what Netflix does today. There’s just one problem: the technology isn’t quite there yet. Google Stadia’s lackluster launch proves that cloud-based gaming still needs a little more time in the oven.
Open Source Game Development
AAA game developers monopolize the gaming industry, but recently more indie developers have produced some of the best content in ages. It looks like AAA dominance will disappear in the future thanks to the availability of programming packages. The gaming community is also using its own programming knowledge to improve on a game using patches and mods. With open-source software, it’s possible that the future will hold many more indie games and interesting or bizarre modification to classic or new games.
Virtual and Augmented Reality
Although there aren’t any virtual reality gaming consoles yet, there are headsets on the market that seek to imitate the feeling of being inside of the game itself. Virtual reality offers a fully immersive gaming experience, while augmented reality creates a game out of real-life. Popular augmented reality game Pokemon Go proves that there is a large, untapped market waiting to play hockey in their kitchen or cast spells in their backyard. Both technologies are still in their infancy, but they will emerge as valuable gaming extensions in the future.
Additional Screens for Consoles and Handheld
Nintendo has already experimented with dual screen technology with amazing success. The DS was one of the most popular consoles to date (DS literally meaning 'Dual Screens') because its games seamlessly used both screens to enhance the player experience. The WiiU did this with less success, but both consoles proved that people truly want this experience. Many PC users use 2-3 monitors to play and stream games to an audience. It’s possible that the future will hold multiple smartphone screens as the technology becomes cheaper.
Amazing Graphics and High-Def Displays
Recently, graphics haven’t seen that much of an improvement in comparison to the 8-bit, 16-bit, 64-bit comparison to photo-realism. Still, cutting edge advancements have allowed motion capture and photorealistic textures. However, if you can’t see the graphics - what’s the point? Enter Ultra 4K gaming. As the technology becomes more affordable, more and more gamers will have the ability to upgrade their 1080p monitors to 4K. 4K is so sophisticated in its graphical technology, you can literally see the pores on the characters’ faces.