About 70 percent of Americans play some kind of video game on at least one device. And that number is going to expand as devices of all types proliferate and become more powerful.
But where is the future of gaming going? What’s next?
That’s the eternal question with technology. No one really has a crystal ball and can say for sure. But it’s possible to look at the world today and what’s known to be coming in the near future and play out some hypotheticals.
Let’s walk through some big, level-setting ideas.
Subscriptions and the Cloud Are the Future of Gaming
There are two big reasons for that.
First, the internet is getting more powerful and is available to more people. And more and more people want to do everything online.
Two, Netflix taught us that, for a monthly payment, one can have a treasure of content available anytime they had an internet connection without ever owning or even downloading any of it.
Enter Stadia the first gaming platform that takes this idea to the max.
Stadia is a cloud-based gaming system being developed by Google. It will allow any device that supports Google Chrome to play content on Stadia without downloading anything.
All that’s needed is a sufficiently powerful device and a solid internet connection to play content on Stadia’s servers and stream it to your device. But to make the most of it, users will need a subscription.
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More Games Than We Know What to Do With
The streaming service war raging now shows that the heaps and heaps of TV shows and movies out there have almost no value individually. They need to be bundled to have any meaningful value despite the fact that no one has the time to consume all the content available.
This changes how people make and consume video games.
The now-slightly dated online marketplace Steam offered more games in one place than anywhere else. It also made for a great place for people to intro new games. But even great games crowded out by whatever tchotchkes that go viral.
Developers went for more simple low-risk, safe-return style games and players, in turn, turned to more low-cost, minor-production-value games.
VR Will Rise but Not as a Leviathan
Virtual reality headsets have burned through their latest novelty period with breathtaking speed and are already cemented tech the market accepts. (VR got its commercial birth in 1987.)
But the reality is that the VR doesn’t apply to all genres equally well and, at least now, doesn’t stand on without a console.
There are several genres that need a big picture, literally. Think the wide world of sports and party games as we know them today.
VR’s success is deeply planted in the immersive, escapist aesthetic of gaming. People crave it so much that the escape room business has blown up in the U.S.
What Else Is Coming?
There’s so much in flux with the explosion of technology that can make its way into gaming. Only time will tell what the future of gaming will look like.
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