Since its inception, way back in the 1940s, the video game industry has always been in a process of evolution to keep up with the rapid pace of relevant technological advances.
The new line of game consoles, handhelds, and even newer advances in gaming technologies is always on the horizon, and gaming companies are always looking to be the first to connect their product with each new advance.
Being able to show that your game is compatible with the latest gaming tech trend that everyone is talking about, like virtual reality or cloud gaming, is also seen as a key part of a larger marketing strategy that separates one company from another in a crowded market.
This new iteration of gaming technologies hasn't just seen a surge in traditional video game companies. The same diversification and emphasis on new styles of play can also be seen in the premier creators of online casino games, who have embraced technologies such as virtual reality and have evolved traditional casino games to give their customers something exciting and new.
In this article, we’ll be looking at some of the more recent advances in gaming technology and how gaming companies are reacting to them.
It might surprise you to learn that virtual reality (VR) was actually pioneered as early as the 1960s, when Morton Heilig developed his “Sensorama” prototype, a mechanical device that could play films that would engage multiple senses, such as sight, sound, smell, and touch.
Because of the prohibitive cost of VR equipment, the technology didn’t see much use outside of being used as a training aid in the military, at least until recently.
With the advent of low-cost VR headsets, such as those produced by Oculus, the use of VR in gaming has exploded. Oculus has now been bought out by Facebook for a rumored $3 billion and tech companies like Sony and HTC are scrambling to follow their lead.
While VR has yet to make a significant impact on the console market, the current advanced performance of many modern smartphones and the accessibility of low price-point mobile headsets like the Google Cardboard could change this. Developing VR games for the mobile platforms has become a rapidly growing new sector for many gaming companies, with many companies looking to create new VR titles or recreate older games in VR.
Steam originally disrupted the video gaming market by moving the purchase of video games from the physical to the purely digital. Now, several companies are taking that one step further to remove the need for extant hardware to play games.
Google’s Stadia and Nvidia’s GeForce NOW are services that take advantage of the rapid increase in the speed at which data stored on the cloud can be accessed and streamed to. This, theoretically, allow gamers located anywhere in the world to play a game from a central server.
While both systems have certainly had their teething problems, including lag, misleading statements about the speed of the steaming, misleading statements about whether the games would play in 4K resolutions and limited multiplayer support, the technology behind the concept is sound and, with companies like Amazon also investing in cloud gaming projects, could still stand to revolutionize how we play games.
Where VR puts the user into an entirely virtual environment, augmented reality (AR) simply puts a filter over our current reality, superimposing content over our everyday lives. The best example of this technology making a real breakthrough into the world of video games in recent years is the popularity of Niantic’s Pokemon GO.
A mobile AR game based on Nintendo, Game Freak, and Creatures’ seminal game Pokemon, Pokemon GO has attracted 650 million users worldwide by allowing users to experience the world of the Pokemon superimposed over their own.
Part of the popularity and utility of AR is, much like VR, the ubiquity and power of modern smartphones. With many companies looking to capitalize on the success of Niantic’s title, we can expect to see far more AR games in the near future.