Huge technological advancements have been made in the gaming industry, since gaming became a “thing” back in the 1980’s.
There is still a strong market and fondness of all things retro and many gamers continue to enjoy the exploits of Mario and Sonic, but the division between reality and fantasy is starting to blur as technology makes gaming an almost realistic experience.
Games feature technological advancements that belonged in a science fiction novel, in the not too distant past. This article aims to look at how gaming has progressed.
It was only a matter of time before major players in the gaming industry took advantage of smartphone technology. At first we downloaded apps featuring games to play on the move, which featured simple but addictive games such as Colour switch and Flappy Bird. Apps allowed us to track our exercise, what we ate and even provided us with motivational quotes of the day. Apps are being created at a rate of knots and some become extremely popular.
It is now possible to download mobile apps for games that were previously only available on consoles and PC’s for example the Final Fantasy 15 app allowing you to become the hero of your own adventure whilst waiting for a bus or travelling to work.
Mobile apps have made gaming accessible to a larger number of people rather than the “hardcore” gamer. Not everyone is prepared to invest in the most up to date console, but the majority of the population do own a smartphone.
Virtual reality headsets allow you to completely lose yourself in another world. Whilst wearing the headset it is as if you’re actually there. Many apps are available to download on your smartphone to use with VR headsets. There are apps suitable for children (with supervision) allowing them to explore the inside of a volcano, discover creatures that live underwater and walk around an international space station.
Although this technology has not yet been developed into an actual gaming console, it is predicted that it will only be a matter of time. The VR headsets in the meantime are becoming ever more realistic in what they offer.
3D scanning technology actually allows you to literally be the character in your game. Almost like creating your own movie, with yourself as the main character. 3D scanning technology is now being enhanced further by advancements in facial recognition. Meaning that the avatar looks just like you and also your facial expressions are translated to the avatar. The technology can recognise emotions such as feeling happy, sad and angry, by recognising tiny facial movements. These emotions are then interpreted into the game play.
This can be achieved by a standard webcam, however a better effect is created by a sensor such as those created by Facewear. The sensors are able to cope with low lighting conditions, have high pixels and wide lenses.
This development really blurs the boundaries between reality and fantasy. The technology allows for a more realistic player to player game play.
Everytime a new game is published or the most up to date version is released, the question most people ask is “what are the graphics like?” Every year we are more impressed than the previous and graphics now resemble photograph quality. It is possible to buy graphic cards for PC’s used for gaming that promise the ultimate in graphics experience.
There have been huge developments in gaming graphics over the last 20 years, some games have stood the test of time and are still as relevant today such as Zelda, whereas others now look somewhat ridiculous in comparison to today’s technology. With multi-player games becoming ever more popular the graphics in 2018 really add to the experience.
Games require a lot of storage and memory. Most of the games produced nowadays require fairly powerful hardware to play fully. Not everyone has access to such hardware and don’t have the finance to keep upgrading consoles. This is where cloud gaming comes into its own, rather like the photo storage clouds you use with your smartphone and PC.
Using cloud opens up access to huge server-size limits, which can allow gaming images to be streamed through your internet.
Of course this streaming service comes at a price and monthly subscriptions normally allow access. You also need compatible devices as PS4 and XBox One have developed their own cloud services.
DLC (downloadable content)
Downloadable content (DLC) is additional content produced for video games, usually in the form of expansion packs which provides access to special aesthetics, such as character changes and storyline extensions. The DLC lengthens the enjoyment of an original game, as buying more and more expansion packs mean that the game has no end.
Critics would say DLC is just another way for publishers to gain more revenue from the original game, as it is an additional cost to gamers following purchasing the original title. Sometimes the cost can mount up considerably.
DLC is distributed through the internet and console networks like XBox Live and Playstation Network.
We’ve already mentioned facial recognition, advancements in technology have now allowed voice recognition to become reality too. Devices such as echo and alexa have been extremely popular with households this year. Game publishers are keen to get in on the popularity of voice recognition and are in the process of developing games to be played through Alexa and Echo.
Advancements in voice technology in gaming means that it is now possible to turn consoles on and off by your voice, but it can also be used to control in gameplay, interact on social media and search the web, simply by voice command.
The invention of 3D cameras mean that game controllers may soon be a thing of the past! Cameras pinpoint and track movements in your hand, which are then interpreted into gameplay. This is excellent for playing games that include shooting or leading people into battle or safety.
With technology advancing so quickly, who knows what the future holds!