4 Ways Gaming Will Evolve in the Decade Ahead
It’s amazing to think how quickly computer game graphics have evolved over the last few decades.
19:22 10 March 2020
With 2D button bashers like Pacman morphing into today’s fully immersive graphic experiences, which have led philosophers and movie makers alike to ponder over the possibility that humans may one day exist entirely in an artificially imagined alternative reality, boasting graphics so real that no one would notice the difference between the physical and online realms. As we enter a new decade, this article will look at where the world of graphics technology is headed and how far we are from what was imagined in the likes of The Matrix and Inception.
The year 2000 was the first time that a Graphics Processing Unit was released onto the general market, allowing the public to boost the performance of their home computers, which meant sharper and more realistic graphics. Around the same time games consoles were undergoing a revolution as well, with the PlayStation 2 quickly being followed by the Xbox. The games that became available on all three of these formats were so popular that every entertainment company wanted to take advantage of the immersive qualities the technological advances offered, with many a production company and publishing firm wanting in on the action. Even online casinos got in the game, creating a range of video slots with incredible graphics for their customers to enjoy. Those same industries are sure to be watching intently as a new generation of gaming technology looms on the digital horizon.
Virtual Reality to Make Further Strides
VR technology has come a long way since its infancy, when it was laughed at trade shows for being clunky and unworkable. Now the technology is everywhere, and it is changing the world we live in today. From museums looking to add an extra dimension to their exhibitions to computer games that allow you to enter a parallel universe, all from the comfort of your living room. Recent advances such as the release of the vaunted Oculus Rift are already providing incredible experiences and more looks set to follow with the much talked about VIVE Cosmos due to blow minds later in the year.
Hyper Reality – VR but More Social
The problem with VR headsets is that they can’t really be used while other people are in the room. You can’t have a chat with your girlfriend or boyfriend mid-game when you have something akin to a snorkel mask on your head, and don’t expect her/him to hang around for long if you do. That’s where hyper reality comes in, pioneered by firms such as VOID, which brings players together in one venue, combining the physical reality of a warehouse with the virtual reality seen through a VR headset. Think paintball, but your enemies are computer generated bad guys, rather than Bill from accounts taking you out with a well-aimed head shot.
The Advent of Augmented Reality
Every gamer has dreamt of being a terminator, armed with a heads-up display that provides information regarding everything from oxygen levels to potential threats. With the launch of products like Google Glass, that reality is already here, but there’s scope for it to go even further, perhaps with the introduction of bio implants that will give you real time information about your surroundings as well as providing a gaming experience whenever you see it fit to play. Pokémon Go was the most recent craze to pilot the technology and no doubt other similar games will emerge soon.
Despite all the advances in headset technology the gaming industry continues to press ahead with trying to improve the graphics of games played by the majority of gamers on computer, television and mobile screens. The latest advance in this field is being driven by graphics cards companies like Nvidia, who are developing technology that imitates how light reacts in real life, providing an evermore lifelike experience for gamers used to the shadows in their games acting in strange pixelated ways. However, this sort of development is incredibly costly and resource intensive, meaning that many developers are moving away from creating ultra-real experiences in favour of immersive and attractive environments that may not mimic everyday life. After all, does anyone play a game just to be faced with what they’ve been looking at all day?