Games have never been more realistic and immersive than they are today. But with innovations and new technological advancements, we are at the beginning of an online gaming revolution. From artificial intelligence to game streaming services, here are some of the things that make us excited about the future of gaming.
1. The rise of game streaming services
Up until now, gamers had to buy expensive gaming rigs or a console to enjoy the latest video games. With the rise of game streaming services, that is no longer the case. The biggest tech giants are now competing to become the “Netflix of video games”: Google, Apple, Microsoft and Sony have all released a game streaming service in recent years in an attempt to establish themselves early.
Game streaming services let you stream video games straight to your TV, phone or PC, and all you need is a controller and a stable internet connection. Some of these services let players purchase the games they want to play digital, while others use a subscription model where customers pay a monthly fee and get access to a handpicked library of games.
Unfortunately, it seems likely that game streaming is still far away in many countries. In order to stream video games with advanced graphics and a high frame-rate, customers need a fast and reliable internet connection. Many countries around the world lack the infrastructure required to stream video games, let alone in 4K and 60 FPS. However, game streaming services may become the preferred way to play video games for millions of people in the coming years.
2. Advancements in artificial intelligence
Artificial intelligence used to be science fiction, but everything from our phones to our cars implement AI these days. Video games have used a basic form of artificial intelligence for decades. For example, non-playable characters (NPCs) follow a series of directions and commands to move and do various actions.
But while traditional games haven’t used “true” artificial intelligence yet, we may see the first examples of actual AI in video games very soon. Within a few years, game developers could introduce NPCs that don’t rely on code – and these could do things even the developers won’t predict. For example, a game could have enemies that learn the playstyle and patterns of the players and automatically adjust their actions to match them in real-time. These NPCs would use AI to improve their strategy against a specific playstyle and create a more immersive experience overall.
The possibilities of artificial intelligence in video games are endless. Game studios could implement AI that develops parts of the game automatically. Today, most games have levels or worlds that are meticulously crafted by the coders and designers. In the near future, powerful AI could create levels, play areas, quests and even graphical assets on the fly.
3. New types of online casino games
The online gambling industry is in constant change, and today’s igaming companies are implementing new technologies and concepts to make more immersive gaming experiences. The world’s first live casino games were introduced a few years ago. These games use real cameras, cards and dealers to create an authentic casino experience that used to be impossible.
Online slots have also changed over the past couple of years as game developers make new types of games. Grid-based games, augmented reality and gamification features may replace the classic reel-based slots in the near future, and the online casino TeleVega already offers many of these modern and engaging casino games.
Instead of making traditional slots with paylines and reels, the next wave of online slots will have engaging features that elevate the experience to a whole new level. A few game providers are already making skill-based casino games in which players are required to use skill and strategy to win. Some of these games have a full combat system, multiple levels, RPG elements and even a complete story. Others are simple arcade-style games where players shoot boxes or complete puzzles to win coin prizes. Skill-based casino games are still in an early stage, but more developers will focus on them in the future.
4. Virtual reality multiplayer games
Virtual reality has existed for a long time, and gamers have enjoyed the immersion that only VR can offer for years. But despite high sales numbers and the effort of multiple technology companies, VR never caught on as much as many predicted. Wearing a VR headset for extended periods is just not very comfortable, and many players report that they feel dizzy and nauseous after just a few minutes of playtime.
However, there is hope for gamers who love the concept of VR. As the cost of producing VR headsets goes down, the quality will continue to improve. The new VR headsets from the main manufacturers have higher frame rates and better resolutions than the older versions, which results in a smoother playing experience. It is only a question of time before the first fully-fledged VR multiplayer FPS games and MMOs come out. Besides, Valve’s highly anticipated Half-Life Alyx is a VR exclusive.
5. Next-gen consoles with immersive features
Both Sony and Microsoft will release their next-gen consoles in 2020. The PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X will bring graphics to the levels of high-end PCs. Using SSD instead of regular hard drives, the new consoles promise bigger levels and much shorter (if any) loading times. This means that players can boot up their console and play a game within seconds, without having to wait for endless loading screens to end. Additionally, the Series X and the PS5 are equipped with much beefier graphics cards than the current consoles, allowing game developers to craft beautiful game worlds that are more immersive than ever.
Although not confirmed, it is safe to assume that the PS5 will develop a next-gen VR headset for the PS5. The PS4 VR headset was a massive success for Sony, but the outdated specs of PS4 was a major drawback. With two new consoles on the horizon, it will be interesting to see if Sony and Microsoft announce a next-gen VR platform within the coming year.