The gaming industry has been around for decades, and thanks to technological innovations, it has grown tremendously in recent years. Video games, as they were in the past, are almost entirely unrecognizable. Today, video games are more realistic and immersive than ever before.
In addition, the industry is now worth billions of dollars, not also accounting for the lucrative online casino gaming industry, where reputable online sites like EasyBet Casino rake in billions in revenue annually.
In the early days, 8-bit and 16-bit graphics were the norm, and games were mostly limited to 2D gameplay. Nowadays, they boast incredibly realistic graphics, often on par with Hollywood movies, and provide immersive 3D experiences. One of the latest trends in gaming technology includes virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR).
The former allows players to be transported into the game world and interact with it realistically. At the same time, the latter superimposes computer-generated images in the real world, allowing players to interact with both simultaneously. In addition to these two, some of the other technological trends in the gaming industry include:
- Virtual Reality (VR)
It is one of the hottest innovations in the gaming industry. VR technology allows players to be fully immersed in a game, making it feel more real and exciting. Major gaming companies such as Sony are investing heavily in VR, which is expected to increase in the coming years.
Some examples of VR applications in the gaming industry include:
Virtual reality arcades: These allow people to try out VR games without having to buy expensive hardware.
VR headsets: They are used to provide a fully immersive gaming experience. Some popular VR headsets are the HTC Vive, PlayStation VR, and Oculus Rift.
- Augmented Reality (AR)
AR enables digital elements to be superimposed on the real world, offering a great gaming experience. For example, the popular game Pokemon GO uses AR technology to allow players to catch Pokemon in the real world.
It is expected that AR will be used in more games in the future, as it has a lot of potential for gaming applications, including:
- Improved immersion: AR can make games more realistic and immersive by adding digital elements to the real world.
- New gameplay experiences: AR offers new ways to play games that aren’t supported by traditional gaming platforms.
- Cloud Gaming
This technology allows gamers to play games without needing to install or download them on their own devices. Instead, games are streamed from a remote server. Cloud technology is used in video gaming in the following ways:
- Console games: Some console games, such as Sony’s PlayStation Now, can be streamed from the cloud, allowing gamers to play them without having to own a console.
- Games such as Clash of Clans and Candy Crush Saga are popular mobile games that millions of people play. They are typically hosted on remote servers and are streamed to mobile devices.
Cloud technology has several advantages, including:
- Convenience: Games can be accessed anywhere, anytime, without worrying about installation or updates.
- Cost-effectiveness: Cloud gaming is often subscription-based, so it can be more affordable than buying individual games.
eSports is a relatively new phenomenon that refers to competitive video gaming tournaments watched by millions of people worldwide. Some top eSports games are League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Overwatch, Fortnite, and Dota 2.
eSports are becoming increasingly popular, with professional gamers earning millions in prize money. In addition, eSports tournaments are now being held in major stadiums worldwide.
Some events even attract more viewers than traditional sporting events. The popularity of eSports is expected to continue to grow in the coming years.
- Indie Games
Indie games refer to video games that small, independent studios develop. These types of games are typically released on digital platforms such as Steam or itch.io. In recent years, indie games have resurged in popularity as they offer unique and innovative gameplay experiences that cannot be found in big-budget AAA games.
Some popular games include Undertale, Stardew Valley, Hollow Knight, Celeste, and Dead Cells. Indie games are often lauded for their creativity and originality and have been responsible for some of the most groundbreaking and influential games in recent years.
- AI and Machine Learning
Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are related technologies that have significantly impacted the gaming industry. AI is used in games for a variety of purposes, including:
- Non-player characters (NPCs): AI is used to create believable NPCs that can interact with players in meaningful ways.
- Game balance: AI can be used to automatically adjust game difficulty levels to provide a more balanced and enjoyable experience.
- In-game purchases: AI can be used to recommend in-game purchases to players based on their playing habits.
Machine learning is an AI particularly well-suited for gaming apps. Machine learning algorithms can be used to automatically improve the game design by learning from player data. For example, a machine learning algorithm could be used to design better levels or optimize in-game microtransactions.
Cloud gaming, eSports, indie games, and AI/machine learning are all major trends shaping the gaming industry’s future. These technologies are making games more accessible, affordable, and entertaining.