Each year, publications like Game Informer and PC Gamer take a look at the latest frontiers in gaming. As technology progresses at an ever-quicker pace, industries ranging from AI to smartphone developers continue to zero in on gaming. The rise of eSports has also helped make video games, including mobile titles, a global pastime.
Still, that doesn’t mean we know exactly how gaming will evolve. Our most certain projections rarely seem to pan out as predicted—just look at VR for proof. And before the VR hype faded there was the promise of holograms… which turned out to be even more difficult to achieve than VR.
Meanwhile, other gaming sectors have gained momentum in the background. Casino gaming, for example, has its origins in traditional card and table games like blackjack and roulette. The industry stretches back hundreds of years—long before smartphones—and survives today as one of the most robust gaming arenas.
Gamers can find no deposit bonuses for top platforms, which keeps first-timers signing up year after year. In other words, though not nearly as flashy a topic as VR and holograms, casino gaming has found a lasting place in the gaming world. Looking ahead, what other unexpected developments should we look out for?
Cloud gaming isn’t necessarily a development slated for the future, as companies are already looking to let gamers stream (rather than download) their favorite titles. Still, there are plenty of roadblocks that will delay cloud gaming. First and foremost, internet connectivity must improve.
For cloud gaming to become a reality worldwide, gamers will need access to 6G networks. While some 5G networks will be strong enough to stream games, not many will have a connection with the available bandwidth. In other words, hardware must develop for this to become mainstream, which likely won’t happen until 2030.
Forget VR, the Future is Augmented
As mentioned, VR has been one of the greatest frustrations in terms of gaming evolution. For years, the industry has been on the cusp of a major breakthrough… allegedly. While many analysts suggest that VR is finally making strides toward wearability, affordability, and functionality, some think the future will center more on AR.
AR requires less equipment and is more familiar for gamers as it takes place in our physical reality. Most important of all, it’s easier on developers. Rather than recreate reality, creators can focus on enhancing reality with dynamic new games. For example, some companies are working on developing AR laser tag and hide ‘n’ seek, to name a couple.
AI, NPCs, & the Imagination
Many gamers interact with NPCs in their favorite titles. An NPC is a non-playable character. In recent years, developers have looked to AI to help enhance gameplay by creating more engaging and dynamic NPCs. Looking ahead, AI and NPCs could have a profound effect on commercial genres like RPGs.
The idea is that an AI-informed NPC would, to a certain degree, have a mind of its own and that this will make the game more intriguing. However, there are ample challenges related to an AI-NPC. First and foremost, developers need to limit the range of options for an NPC so that they don’t derail the game.
We’ve already covered how AR and VR might (or might not) steer the industry. However, there’s a larger theme playing out, which is the merging of reality with gaming. Aside from VR and AR, wearable technology could create a future for what is now being called ambient gaming. This relies on ever evolving hardware that could bring about the possibility of mixed reality.
So, what does this actually look like? Ambient gaming would involve smaller and lightweight hardware. This would make it possible to game on the go and from more remote places—and it might not necessarily involve a screen. Imagine an AR game that doesn’t rely on a smartphone—but might instead function through smart glasses or even smart gloves. This could be a future trend for the gaming industry.