There’s no doubt that the world of gaming has changed immensely over the years. At the very beginning, games had pixilated blocks representing its characters, and now we’ve developed games where we can create characters in our likeness through role-playing avatars such as The Sims. Gaming allows us to become different people, explore new worlds and break the barriers of age and gender. The evolution of gaming and technology has a beautiful symbiotic relationship, and our technology is far from reaching its apex. Let’s take a closer look at our game tech trends in 2022.
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AR and VR Gaming
AR systems have been around since the early 1990s but the US Air Force used them as Virtual Fixture systems. From there came the first VR game in 1977 and eventually, the blow-up AR through Pokémon Go. Though there has been little growth in AR since Pokémon Go, the same can’t be said for VR. Not only have we started seeing an increase in the affordability of VR hardware, but also the functionality. With incredibly immersive games such as Arizona Sunshine and Batman: Arkham VR, it’s no surprise that the world of VR is growing at a rapid pace.
Blockchain and NFTs
These words have been abuzz for a while but, what do they mean? An NFT is a certificate of ownership of digital items that are made in limited quantities. In gaming, examples of this would be character outfits, weapons, avatars and collectables. Users can then sell or trade these items to other gamers or keep them. A blockchain game would then be a game that makes use of NFTs.
There have been many controversies concerning NFTs as many gamers consider NFTs to be a waste of money and energy and with “play-to-earn” on the rise, many gamers feel the NFT bubble might burst soon, and don’t want to be left with a digital product that might become worthless. However, many developers are looking to incorporate NFTs into their gaming and, with the prospect of being able to use a unique item across multiple games, NFTs and Blockchain gaming might be here to stay.
Subscriptions are nothing new. With services such as Netflix and Spotify, we’re already locked in on these services that are value-for-money and provide access to an expansive library of shows or music. Now with gaming subscriptions such as PlayStation Plus, Xbox Game Pass and Prime Gaming, gamers have access to a world of incredible gaming titles for a fraction of the price.
How disappointing would it be to get a new game that you’re looking forward to playing with your buddies on PS4, but only to find out that your friends have PCs and Xboxes? Not only do they have different consoles and systems but, you can’t play together if they visit you because your game doesn’t have a split-screen option. With this, comes the question: which system is better, and which system will have the best exclusive games. With the development of Epic Online Services making cross-play gaming easier and more accessible, gamers can now enjoy wonderful gaming titles such as Rocket League and Dauntless, without having to worry about system limitations.
Online and mobile casino gaming has really taken off in the past few years with more than multiple games being developed every few months from different software providers. Casino games now have crisp 3D graphics and even incorporate the human element into it, which can be seen in live dealer casino games. We have yet to see an increase in uptake of VR casino gaming, but with a positive trend in VR accessory purchases, we can only but assume that this niche will become increasingly popular too.
Most gamers either own a PC or console, but not all users have the money or space for these setups. For them, cloud gaming is the answer. Cloud gaming allows users to pay a subscription fee and, as a result, they have access to many high-quality games that they can stream on any device. As exciting as it sounds, cloud gaming relies heavily on good internet speeds. Even with good internet capacity, users can still experience lagging or other streaming issues, which can be a deal-breaker for competitive gamers.
As the awareness of Esports has increased, so has its revenue and viewership. With the pandemic, all of us have had to spend more time at home and less time outside. This has had a tremendous impact on in-person events but also meant more people were spending time in the online world. Gaming live streaming has become much more popular on platforms such as YouTube Live and Twitch, making it more accessible to users across the globe. Apart from these bigwigs, more streaming platforms are offering live coverage of Esports.