Technology affects almost every aspect of our lives, from transport, to healthcare, communication, manufacturing and more. It’s in our workplace, our homes, and our pockets, and it’s hard to imagine life without it.
Things that would have seemed impossible a few years ago are now taken for granted. Lights are turned on with our voices, the heating is controlled via a smartphone and movies and games are streamed to huge flat screen TV’s.
One of the most visible and enjoyable areas that technology has improved, is gaming. When the computer games took off in the 1980’s, no one could have imagined the power and immersive realism afforded by todays offerings.
But what exactly are these technological advances and what impact are they having on today’s games.
Augmented reality gaming (AR) is the integration of games visual and audio with the players environment in real time. These games are typically played on portable gaming systems such as smartphones or tablets, in order to maximise the experience.
The most obvious and successful example of an AR game was Pokemon Go which became a worldwide sensation upon its release. By using a smartphones camera, gyroscope, clock and GPS, it created a unique location-based AR environment for the player.
The game sent players on the hunt for Pokemon monsters around their neighbourhood, and was able to display the creatures on screen in the user’s real-world environment. Another more recent example of AR is Nintendo’s Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit, which transforms your home into augmented reality-enhanced race tracks.
While the game is expensive due to the advanced technology involved, it is a great example of the possibilities of AR, and the exciting future that lies ahead for this tech.
Virtual Reality (VR)
VR has been around a while and in many ways, it’s still waiting for the gaming world to catch up – and prices to come down! Having said that, there are plenty of great titles out there that are making use of this great technology, such as Resident Evil 4 VR and No Man’s Sky VR.
There are still limitations to this tech however, with gamers needing to invest in expensive headsets such as Meta Quest. The physical limitations of a gamers playing space is also an issue when they are immersed in a seemingly boundless virtual world.
Virtual Reality is an exciting technology that can take players anywhere and allow them to immerse themselves in a game. Whether it’s playing table tennis, fighting Zombies or a visit to the casino, the possibilities are endless.
The single biggest cause behind the explosion in gaming popularity is the rise of the smartphone. Thanks to its portability and ease of access, anyone with a smartphone has access to games anytime and anywhere they choose.
Last year, mobile games were responsible for nearly half of the video game industry sales, and that doesn’t include the download of free games. One of the biggest benefactors of the mobile gaming revolution are online casino games such, poker, roulette, blackjack and slots like Rainbow Riches.
Previously, if gamers wanted to play casino games, they would have to physically visit a land-based casino. But thanks to the internet and smartphones, gamers can enjoy these classic games from the comfort of their own homes.
With smartphones boasting fast internet speeds, powerful graphics and quality screens, casino games are an immersive and entertaining experience.
Cloud gaming has the potential to revolutionise the gaming industry. Thanks to fast broadband speeds, players are able to game in real time on almost any device.
Powerful servers in the cloud host the games, allowing gamers to access them online via their devices. This means that players do not need to invest in expensive gaming consoles and computers in order to play the latest games, all the processing is done in the cloud.
Also called gaming on demand, it is essentially a Netflix for games. And just like Netflix, there are plenty of competitors battling it out for market share.
Microsoft Xbox, Sony PlayStation, Google, Amazon, Nvidia and Nintendo, are just some of the many companies offering gamers access to their catalogues through a monthly subscription service.
This tech also brings other benefits, such as the removal of boundaries when it comes to game design. So often designers are limited in their imagination by the processing power of gamers devices, but with huge cloud servers powering games, the sky really is the limit.
Old online games were based on two-dimensional graphics which still retain a certain charm, but the onset of 3D has changed everything in the gaming world. Games are now more immersive, realistic, exciting and enjoyable.
Racing games, first person shooters and sports titles have all benefitted, with games such as Call of Duty, Forza and EA’s FIFA series all fine examples. Open world games have also utilised this technology to create best selling games such as the worldwide hit, Minecraft, with its creativity and endless possibilities.
The future of gaming
As technology continues to improve players can expect to see many more exciting improvements to their gameplay experience. With fierce competition driving innovation in the sector, companies need to utilise technology to create unique games that will attract players to their offering. The winners will be the gamers who get to enjoy even better, more immersive titles.