Gaming has always been on the bleeding edge of technology. The heavy-duty processors built into today’s gaming PCs and consoles are multiple times more powerful than the computers used by governments and corporations just a few decades ago.
Gamers are early adopters, and for those willing to pay the price for the latest tech there’s a range of unique experiences available. Eventually, these gaming innovations will trickle down to everyone. So, here are some of the most exciting emerging trends in gamer technology.
The technology that underlies Bitcoin wouldn’t be considered ideal for gaming by most, but some startups are getting creative with how goods and services can be limited and distributed in the digital world. The most popular game based on blockchain technology is Crypto Kitties, but there’s a chance some mainstream game developers will created platforms where gamers can earn cryptocurrency, trade limited mods, and barter virtual goods seamlessly. The technology could also power unique gaming experiences like a no deposit casino or games with actual micro-economies for players to make money in.
The most popular application of augmented reality has been 2016’s blockbuster hit Pokemon Go. Since then developers and technology companies have spent billions of dollars trying to recreate the success of that experience. Augmented reality games could bring people into massive multiplayer platforms that are based on objects and locations in the real world. Solving a puzzle in your backyard or playing table tennis on an actual kitchen table with a friend is now a reality. With companies like Apple and Microsoft getting more deeply involved, the possibilities of this technology seem endless.
Complete immersion is much harder to achieve, which may be the reason VR has struggled to go mainstream for so long. Facebook’s Oculus and HTC’s VIve are the best commercially-available devices for early-adopters, but these devices haven’t had mainstream success yet. However, with better games or cheaper consoles, the tide could turn.
Artificial intelligence and facial recognition technology has already enabled machines to read people’s emotions. Soon gamers could be playing games where the difficulty settings are turned up when the AI senses fear and the race track gets more difficult to trigger a rush of adrenaline. The most addictive games of the future will be the ones that can use AI to masterfully manipulate the emotions of gamers.
The days of spending thousands of dollars on expensive gaming consoles and high-end PCs could be coming to an end. Some technology companies are using the same cloud infrastructure used by companies to store documents to let gamers play games through a streaming platform. Over the next decade, the latest games will be playable on any browser, computer or smartphone regardless of configuration.
All these trends are based on technology that exists today and is quickly improving. It’s an exciting time to be a gamer.