Gaming has come a very long way in a short space of time. 30 years ago, there was no PlayStation or Xbox, no Game Boy or Nintendo 64 and, up until the 1990s, there was no internet! Nowadays however, there’s a huge range of games to play and many devices to play them on, and the number is increasing all the time. So we’ve peered into our 2016 crystal ball and have put together five key predictions about the future of gaming.
Games will transcend generations
The time when children stayed in their rooms playing video games is on the way out. Today, families are tending to congregate more in the living areas of the house to play and research by Nickelodeon has found that around 75% of parents surveyed actively play games with their children. The parents themselves are part of the first ever generation that has grown up playing video games, so it makes good sense to create games that they enjoy too.
There’ll be many different ways to play
Games may well be heading away from the consoles to incorporate physical movement as an integral part of playing them. Using alternative controllers or “buttons” placed around the room may become the norm and thanks to the rapid improvement of technology it seems to be ever more likely.
Game and social media crossovers
The trend for online game players to form larger and stronger communities is also likely to become an ever-more important element in games – both by building in-game networks and by making it easier than ever to share everything from results to strategies in platforms like Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr.
Games developed and refined by the players
The ever-greater connectedness of the world will also let games developers get instant feedback from players as the games are designed and built. This so-called “transparent” game design not only means that everything can be tailored in line with player preferences and experiences, it also builds a ready-made army of game advocates from the players who have helped to develop it.
Virtual and augmented reality get real
Most experts agree that the single most significant development is going to arrive in the fields of virtual and augmented reality. There’s strong evidence to support this, with major players, including Microsoft, Google and HTC, all putting into developing wearable technology. In terms of practical applications, it truly will open up whole new world for players – from actually feeling like they’re walking on the surface of Mars to enhancing every aspect of gaming in an online casino.
Of course, these are just a few of the most obvious developments that are on the way. No doubt there will be many more surprising ones to come – both in the kinds of players the industry targets and in the games that become available to play. So we’ll be keeping that crystal ball at the ready.