Roughly 7 billion people around the world play video games. Games and interactive media have become the largest entertainment market in the world, accounting for more global revenue than movies, music, and any other form of entertainment.
Think of how consoles impact on online gaming, or the astronomic growth of mobile gaming. There’s no way anyone could have predicted the sequence of events that have led to nearly a third of the world’s population choosing to game as their preferred pastime over the past few years.
To add to this conundrum, novel innovations and creative technologies haven’t always hit their mark. For example, some technologies, like 3DTV, have disappeared into the ether, while others, such as portable consoles and ray tracing technology, have become influential to a point bordering on ubiquity.
The point we’re trying to make is that, unfortunately, no one can say for sure what the future of video game technology will hold. However, that doesn’t mean some speculation is entirely out of the question. Current trends potentially hold clues as to what the future of gaming could look like, which is why you’ll find seven listed below, all of which have the potential to impact the future of video games.
Table of Contents
Artificial intelligence (AI)
From machine learning algorithms to advanced NPC behaviors, gaming owes much of its success to AI technologies. That success has led to further technological breakthroughs, creating a self-sustaining loop of exponential tech development.
At this point in time, AI tech is already at an incredibly advanced stage. The next big breakthrough will likely come from quantum computing, a relatively new form of AI which has the potential to change far more than just video games.
Voice recognition, facial recognition, and other biometric technologies have been around for quite some time now. However, thanks to augmented reality (AR) and social platforms like the Metaverse, these technologies might impact gaming quite significantly.
CGI graphics and face manipulation software are now near-indistinguishable from reality, meaning biometric security might become a standard digital security measure in the near future.
Cloud networks are currently at a stage where internet bandwidth and geolocation make little difference to their overall efficiency. Nowadays, you can stream and play a game at maximum quality, with little to no investment in the required hardware.
Streaming services like Nvidia’s GeForce Now are steadily gaining mass appeal and could become far more popular than anyone first imagined. With hardware pricing at an all-time high, the future is certainly looking bright for cloud gaming.
Digital sales vs physical copies
Although digital software purchases offer speed and convenience, we highly doubt they will replace physical copies of games outright. Disk copies remain relevant due to their tangible value and physicality.
Physical games are becoming a novelty purchase, desired by collectors and fans alike. These copies tend to be more expensive than their digital counterparts but make up for this by including exclusive bonuses, such as art books and figurines.
Beautiful visuals in gaming require mastery of three aspects: detail, resolution, and frame rate. Developers are constantly pushing these boundaries, inching ever closer to the reality of a virtual world that is identical to our own for all intents and purposes.
From 1K to 4K and 30Hz to 360Hz, there’s no doubt that graphic fidelity continues to improve in both exponential leaps and incremental bounds. The only question is, where do we go once we’ve left the uncanny valley in the rearview mirror? Only time will tell.
Mixed reality (XR)
Whether we’re talking about augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), or both, mixed reality (XR) is now recognized as the umbrella term for all alternate reality technologies. Thanks to the explosive growth of VR, XR is only just getting started.
Due to global lockdowns and travel restrictions, VR sales skyrocketed over the last two years, which led to unprecedented success for the VR market. Let’s hope that XR development companies have taken advantage of this ‘lightning in a bottle – scenario.
Handheld devices are extremely popular right now, but in which direction will mobile gaming go in the future? Portable devices like the Steam Deck and the Nintendo Switch can already compete with mid to high-end PCs, so where do we go from here?
As hardware becomes smaller yet more powerful, the possibilities for mobile gaming will continue to expand. No matter which way you look at it, the future of gaming is an exciting frontier of innovation and untamed technologies.