Video gaming has come a long way since 1972, the year Pong and the Magnavox Odyssey came out. Back then, graphics were a couple of blurry pixels on your screen. Effects were created physically and storylines were shallow and uninspiring.
Then an evolution began to happen in the industry. Effects went from physical to full-on computer generated. Graphics improved drastically and games went from arcade to immersive open world play formats.
In light of that information, there’s no doubt the video gaming industry will evolve further in the next couple of decades. But what changes can you expect?
Streaming to Go Mainstream
Cutting the cord is in its baby steps. Only a small fraction of people that depend on the Internet for all their TV needs. The same applies to video gaming in the US. Sure, the US contributes a quarter of the 140 million viewers on Twitch and the platform attracts 140 million viewers per month.
However, there’s still an astronomical number of video game fans that prefer to play video games offline. For them, a console, PC or a smartphone is enough to have fun. Looking into the future, however, the number of streamers and viewers will surge.
Interestingly, the growth of online video games coincides with the rise of online casinos in the US. Online gambling is now legal in a growing number of states: New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and West Virginia to name a few.
If interested, you can find a list of the best casino sites in Pennsylvania at review websites like slots.info. Of course, learn more about different casino games too. That way, you’ll know the right games to play for you.
Photorealistic video games are already here with us. Think of Death Stranding. The Last of Us Part II and Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice. These games were created to resemble real-world people, places, emotions and events as much as possible.
You can look at a character and know that they’re lying. You can feel it when they’re scared, excited, depressed and traumatized. In the future, photorealism will only grow bigger, with everything from graphics quality to character development nearing real-people experiences.
Photorealism has its fair share of challenges, though. To produce the kinds of breathtaking graphics that make video-game characters resemble real people, powerful hardware and software are needed.
Another roadblock regards lighting and shadows. For a long time, video games had to rely on artists to design light sources and to render shadows in in-game characters. Developers are working on the issue, though. And soon, it will be cheap to create realistic computer-generated light sources.
A Much-Advanced AI
Artificial Intelligence changed video gaming for good. Gone are the days when we depended on code to interact with popular video games. Nowadays, AI runs everything. It processes billions of data sets and uses neural networks to play video games against bots and humans.
The result: you can play Madden Football, NBA 2K, FIFA 21 or Call of Duty against an opponent or team organized by AI. In some cases, AI programs have been able to defeat top players in video games like Dota 2.
But it will take time for Artificial Intelligence to be ultra-realistic. By 2030, the prediction is that video games will be much more responsive than they’re today. Open world games will be bigger and more detailed.
NPCs will have realistic human features and AI will better match opponents. In other words, AI will shape a future in which video games are more immersive and interesting.
More VR and AR Applications
Decade ago, many video game experts thought VR and AR would be functional in every major video game by 2020. Unfortunately, VR never lived up to its expectations. But that’s no sign it’s about to disappear into oblivion.
If anything, VR and AR have a bright future in the video game industry. Samsung, Facebook, Sony, Google and HTC are all in a race to create next-generation VR equipment. These companies are in a competition to create convenient VR tools.
The lack of convenience is arguably the biggest hindrance for VR. Not many gamers enjoy to strap VR headsets connected though cables and a bunch of more devices just to play video games. And certainly, they don’t want to buy VR-compatible computers, at least not at the high prices they cost.
For VR and AR to gain traction in the gaming industry, developers will need to improve how the experience is consumed. Facebook, through Oculus Go is solving some of these issues. With these headsets, you don’t need a special computer and additional accessories. You can download software to make it possible to experience VR in any smart device.
The next generation of consoles, the PS5 and the Xbox Series X, provides a clear hint of what to expect from consoles in the next decade. First, there’s the hardware. Processor will be much more advanced.
Xbox Series X, for example, has a processor that’s four times more advanced than the one inside Xbox One. Graphics-wise, consoles are moving from HD and full HD to 4K and 8K quality pictures.
In other words, futuristic consoles will be feature-rich. Unfortunately, they face several challenges. Key among them is whether they will be relevant. Will people want to purchase a console in 2030 if they could play the same games on a smartphone or PC?
Already, consoles look like a technology of the past. They’re just one of the many ways you can play video games. For consoles to have a viable market in the future, they’ll need to work on more than just a TV. Or they will need to offer an unbeatable experience.
The future of video gaming in the US looks bright. All stakeholders are competing to improve the gaming experience by advancing graphics, AI, consoles and storytelling. In a couple of decades from now, video games will progress fewer interactive games to full-blown immersive experiences. Not every current prediction will come true. But some of them will.