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Future Gaming Trends

Trying to predict the future of gaming is near impossible. Looking back on everything that has happened in the last couple of years it’s safe to say that gaming is an illusive medium and its users a fickle bunch. Gaming trends come and go. Yesterday’s hot new feat can be tomorrow’s forgotten novelty. (I’m looking at you 3D, motion control). So with a grain of salt this is the future of gaming.

Top 5 Future Gaming Trends

Installing a game bio-port in Existenz by David Cronenberg (1999)

Top 6 by Eric Bartelson

 

Future Gaming Trends (1/6):
VR Arcades

With consumer VR out for over a year now, it has still to fulfill its true potential. Sure, being strapped in a VR device is cool and all, but it gets so much better when you take the experience out of the comfort of your home and into a dedicated space where you share a VR adventure together with your friends. Around the world these dedicated spaces -or VR arcades- are popping up. Here you can play multiplayer VR games together. Fight hordes of zombies side by side with your friends or combine brainpower and solve mind bending puzzles while walking around freely. A backpack containing the necessary PC hardware is the ticket to a truly out-of-this-world experience. The ability to see your team members as digital avatars and have natural borders within the game coincide with the layout of the space you’re in so you don’t accidentally bump into each other or hit a wall make this a sure hit with players.

 

Future Gaming Trends (2/6):
Consoles are here to stay

Don’t believe the naysayers. Console gaming is not dead. It’s not even dying. It’s alive and kicking and doing quite well at the moment, thank you very much. Platform holders Sony and Microsoft have even found a cool trick to stretch this generation’s lifespan by releasing a graphical upgrade (PS4 Pro and Xbox One X). That way, the early adopters and fans will buy the machine twice and the console stays relevant in these changing times. But even without trying to keep up with the technology rat race, there is still a place under the tv. Nintendo proves just that with their underpowered -but star studded- Switch. The success of these machines pave the way for future consoles. So, expect a PlayStation 5 somewhere in the future and yes a 6 and 7 as well. Some day.

 

Future Gaming Trends (3/6):
Augmented reality

Pokémon Go made augmented reality the biggest gaming trend when it released last year and started a craze. Millions of people, male and female, young and old alike took to the streets in search for the little creatures that roam free in your own neighborhood. Dazzled by the millions of dollars of potential revenue, many developers jumped on the AR bandwagon. Apple also showed great interest in AR, with CEO Tim Cook calling it ‘an idea as big as the smartphone’ and introducing the ARKit to developers at the WWDC Apple event. Expect a lot of different uses of AR to be implemented in the coming years with games leading the way in innovation.

 

Future Gaming Trends (4/6):
eSports

eSports is big. And I mean BIG. But you can expect it to become even bigger in the years to come. Many (older) people have no idea just what an influence eSports has on a young(er) demographic. And looking at the traditional way of measuring sports’ popularity you might think the sceptics have a point. eSports hardly has a presence on television. But eSports doesn’t need an old world medium like television. eSports was made for (and by) the internet. Millions of viewers turn to Twitch to get their DOTA 2-, Overwatch-, League of Legends– or Hearthstone-fix. By the time that tv companies realize they want a piece of the eSports pie, it’s too late. Nothing to see here, move along.

 

Future Gaming Trends (5/6):
Brain-Computer Interfaces

Ever saw the sci-fi movies eXistenz and The Matrix? Remember how the characters got plugged into another reality through a connector port on their body? It’s time we get there don’t you think? Now in both movies the act of plugging in didn’t look particularly appealing and a connector port in the back of your neck or lower back is sort of a big deal just for playing a game. But this is strictly for the hardcore gamers. The early adopters, the ones that have been playing VR for over a year now and quite frankly are looking for something even cooler. Don’t expect it to take off any time soon, but in our search for more immersion, better graphics and the ultimate gaming experience our body and mind are the final frontier.

 

Future Gaming Trends (6/6):
Nintendo is going to rise, fall and rise again

Japanese game- and console maker Nintendo is as old as time (well actually they started life as a playing cards company in 1889). In their long and lustrous existence the company enjoyed remarkable success and some crushing defeats, but one thing is certain: Nintendo will never die. After bringing console gaming back from the dead (when a flooded console market caused the big video game crash in 1983) with the NES and SNES the company took a beating when the N64-successor GameCube failed to attract an audience. Nintendo didn’t take long to cancel the purple box and came back with one of the most successful consoles of all time, Nintendo Wii. Only to fumble again with the Wii’s successor the Wii U. Industry analysts have openly discussed Nintendo’s console strategy, instead suggesting to release their widely popular IP on other consoles. Last year Nintendo did release a Mario game on mobile phones but the company will continue to develop their own consoles and keep control over their own destiny. With millions of fans around the world and an incredible roster of game characters and game series, Nintendo can afford the occasional misstep and keep coming out on top.

 

 

By

Co-founder and former Editor in Chief of Control Magazine. Control serves as a central hub for information about/for Dutch game development studios and consists of a magazine, websites and conference. He has been writing about games professionally since 1997 (yes he’s getting old).

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