The gaming industry’s evolution has taken leaps and bounds from the days where its algorithms enabled users to play games like chess and Pac-man. Today, games are a lot more realistic, interactive and multi-dimensional than their primitive predecessors and engage users at a much deeper level. These rapid enhancements in the gaming experience have been possible because of developments in affiliated technologies and gaming industry trends have closely followed and capitalized on technological innovations that can enhance user experience. Thus, it would be apt to say that technological trends in gaming are heavily dependent on the technological trends in the broader IT industry. Some prominent trending gaming technology includes:
Emergence of AR and VR gaming technology
Emerging gaming technology trends over the past couple of years point towards an increasing incorporation of interactive technologies in the gaming landscape. Stark evidence of this trend is observed in the increasing research towards virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) by gaming companies. AR and VR gaming technology has long been touted to vastly change the gaming experience, albeit in slightly different ways. While VR technology aims to make the gaming experience more immersive, AR technology intends on provide an interface between the virtual and real world.
However, the key commonality that AR and VR gaming technology shares is that is aims to make gaming more realistic. This is in consonance with the trend of games in general aiming to provide a more realistic experience to users in terms of complex and developing story lines, real-world scenarios and improved graphics.
Growing importance of hardware in gaming technology
Key enablers of AR and VR gaming are headsets, which brings to fore the importance of hardware in gaming technology trends. Improvements in graphics chipsets, console designs and display screens were the traditional hardware-based drivers of the gaming industry. However, recent years have seen the incorporation of new types of hardware as well, even as the importance of traditional hardware components remains unaltered. Common hardware components widely in use today include steering wheels for driving games, guns for shooting games, joysticks, etc.
Some of the emerging hardware-related technological trends in gaming, besides VR and AR headsets, include gesture control systems and utilization of wearable technology for gaming. Gesture control systems are essentially movement detection systems that have already been used in certain shooting games and hold tremendous potential for sports-based games such as tennis and cricket. Meanwhile, wearable technology like smart watches are finding increasing traction among fitness enthusiasts and technology buffs. As a result, several experts in the industry believe that it is merely a matter of time before wearable technology for gaming is introduced on a broad scale. Wearable gaming technology can prove a game changer for the market since it can go gesture control systems can factor in aspects like the gamer’s pulse, blood pressure and other physical parameters in the gaming programs decision making process.
Gamer-oriented software developments
Following closely on developments in detection systems in hardware are software detection systems. Gaming industry tends suggest an increasing emphasis by major players on development of facial and audio recognition software. Such software can help not only in creating a realistic likeness of the player to add a personal touch to the gaming experience, but also detect variations in facial expressions and sounds. The detection of these variations can then be used to increase or decrease the difficulty level of a particular game. However, the success of this application of facial and audio recognition software is grounded in a game’s ability to successfully incorporate artificial intelligence (AI) technology that can accurately assess a player’s cues and make the required adjustments.
Increasing utility of AI
AI is already a prominent gaming technology trend as it has found wide application in multiplayer games that require bots to supplement real players. However, this technology is constantly evolving and holds great potential for the gaming industry. Going forward, AI is not only expected to help in improving the quality of bots by making them more human-like, but also in improving the overall gaming interface. Effective utilization of AI in gaming interfaces can make gaming programs more reactive and responsive.
Cloud gaming technology gaining traction
Advancements in cloud computing are providing an alternative to multiplayer and real-time gaming companies to tackle the problem of big data storage. By using cloud gaming technology, companies no longer need to physically store data. This is helping reduce infrastructure costs and increase gaming speeds without additional investments into chips that require provide higher computing power. For gamers, the growing trend of cloud gaming technology can result in a similar reduction in cost and increase in computational speeds to help run games more smoothly.
Shift from personal computers to mobiles and consoles
With the demographic of gamers shifting from teens to young working adults, there has been a shift in usage of gaming platforms as well. Most people have sought to make a clear demarcation over the platform they use for work and leisure. Thus, gaming through personal computers has seen a relative decline in favour of smartphones and gaming consoles. Both these platforms offer unique advantages and come with affiliated disadvantages.
While smartphones help users access games on the go, they often fail to offer the quality and gaming experience of consoles. On the other hand, while consoles hold the edge in effectively delivering the gaming experience, they face challenges from high cost of production and lack of portability. Emerging gaming industry trends are aiming to address these shortcomings by developing dedicated gaming chipsets for smartphones and reducing the size, power consumption and costs of gaming consoles.
Conclusion: Gaming Industry to Ride Technology Wave
The high technology dependency of the gaming industry has turned out to be a strength rather than a weakness for the market as the steady growth in technology has been effectively leveraged by gaming companies. Trending gaming technology is also following this pre-charted course with success. The core pillars of the gaming experience have been rooted in a game’s ability to mirror reality, be interactive and entertain users. These deliverables are being constantly fulfilled by emerging gaming technology trends, while at the same time also increasing user expectation. This is a good sign for gamers as well as the gaming industry.