Gaming has come a long way since the first consoles and playable titles came out. Decades of design and advancement have taken what was a few pixels on a screen, to now creating massive worlds, adventures, and experiences for everyone to enjoy.
2020, and the years to follow, are going to be no different. We live in a world where AI and virtual reality are becoming bigger parts of our lives, game developers are doing incredible things with classic titles we love, and console and PC manufacturers are stepping up their hardware to give us more mind-blowing experiences. With smartphones getting more advanced and apps that keep getting better, technology as a whole is moving forward at pace
Sony and Microsoft unveiled their new consoles a few weeks ago, and announced them as the “future of gaming” and considering the specs and power of each of them, they are going to be able to change the game when it comes to gaming.
Many experts believe that we are getting closer to gaming that incorporates “mixed reality”. This is an idea that mixes both virtual realities and augmented reality, think the Oculus, and that one time favorite Pokemon Go.
The one downside to VR at the moment is the price. VR headsets are incredibly expensive, you need a powerful system to run it, and the games available are limited, and many of them are lackluster and don’t fully utilize the technology.
There is also a disconnect then because of this, people want to feel like they are in the game, not watching it from a headset. This is where augmented reality comes in. Pokemon Go made players feel like they were part of the world in a way.
Developers are working on advancing on the haptic feedback for VR and AR, as in being able to “feel” the game, have a wider field of view, more senses available, etc. The technology hasn’t matured yet and isn’t on its way just yet, but it’s being worked on as we speak.
Experts still agree that VR is still in its infancy and that only time will allow the technology to advance to the point where you can be so immersed in the experience that you will struggle to tell the difference between the real world and the gaming world.
AI is another big player in the future of gaming. We are all aware of AI in games, whether it’s playing against the computer in a FIFA match or shooting bots in Fortnite, and even just a random NPC that gives you some information, AI has been part of gaming for years.
However, it is now being used to not only be in games but to make them. Developers are using AI to procedurally generate worlds, adventures, and characters to give each player a unique and different experience every time they play.
AI is already being used to make games by itself. Programmers have put in simple instructions, as well as an end goal, and then have allowed the AI to make a game that matches those specifications, it’s allowing developers to discover new ways to make levels.
AI, with the power of procedural generation, also allows for games to be designed and developed quicker. This means much bigger and more detailed games can be made in the same timeframe as regular, more basic games.
More games are also adding in-depth stories that involve challenging aspects of society, and not just the typical “beat the bad guy” narrative. This goes hand in hand with the idea of games becoming more involved with the real world.
Another aspect that is being constantly improved upon is world size. While games back in the day only allowed you to follow the story and not see the rest of the world, games now have vast worlds to explore and also don’t force you to play the story at all.
Games such as GTA and Red Dead Redemption are fan favorites due to the worlds you can explore, the amount of stuff you can do, as well as the number of side quests you can do that allow you to explore areas and aspects of the game you might not get to see during the regular game.
With regards to the future of gaming, we mustn’t forget that technology is moving so much quicker today than it did 10 years ago, and considering we had games that were vast and detailed back then, imagine what we can have in 10 years?
Gaming is being taken to a level that no one thought possible at one time, and it will only exceed expectations the more technology moves forward and the more powerful consoles and PC’s get.
An aspect holding gaming back is still the stigma held by some people that gaming is a waste of time and mindless, this obviously couldn’t be more mindless. Hopefully, this attitude changes as more people realize what games and the technology associated with them can do.
Either way, you look at it, gaming is advancing at a rapid rate, we are entering the beginning phases of game worlds being merged into the real world, and there is nothing left to do but sit back and enjoy it.