What Is The Future Of Gaming?

Once again, we’re at a point in time where the future of gaming appears quite uncertain. The life cycle of the current generation of consoles is beginning to come to an end, with the next iteration of the PlayStation and Xbox brand expected to be fully announced and released in the upcoming years, putting them alongside the already-for-sale Nintendo Switch. So, what can we expect from the future of the gaming industry as a branch of both technology and entertainment?

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A couple years ago, the answer to this question seemed relatively clear. Onwards from 2010, we were starting to see the emergence of several new innovations in the way we play video games. During this period, evidenced by the Kinect and PS Move, companies started trying to ride the trend of motion gaming started by the Wii. Suddenly, games media and corporations began expressing the importance of this new way to play games, even to the point where Microsoft forced the Kinect in with the Xbox One. However, that trend quickly died as soon as the gimmick wore off. What I would consider the equivalent of this in modern gaming, is the current concept of virtual reality. 

Now, I know the merits of VR are still up for debate, and there certainly are many VR enthusiasts, but I just don’t see the technology taking off with the public in any meaningful way, including the video game space. Disappointing sales for the VR industry last year, prove this more than any kind of conjecture. And although PlayStation is doing quite well with their VR system, the technology as a whole has not been a success story, yet. There’s still so many obstacles to overcome before anyone can even call VR an aspect of the future of gaming. The price is still high for what is essentially an accessory, dedicated games are sparse, and the technology itself is a hassle to demonstrate to new markets of people.

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All of this seems to tie into the repeated and tired argument that gaming as we know it, ‘is dying.’ It wasn’t long ago when people and companies began declaring the soon vanquishment of single player games. Game publishers started focusing more on multiplayer and co-op, thinking that the days of single player experiences were numbered, and more importantly, less lucrative. In reality, players were and are, still hungry for strong, solo video games. Just look at the commercial successes of Grand Theft Auto V, The Witcher 3, Fallout 4, and this year’s highly celebrated Zelda sequel, for example. 

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Then came all the mobile gaming hype. Companies like Konami looked at the profits of Candy Crush and Clash Of Clans, and blindly placed their efforts into that market without looking at all the failures of mobile gaming. Nowhere is this more clear than Nintendo’s recent attempt at cracking the ‘goldmine’ with Super Mario Run. They learnt first hand that mobile gamers not only don’t like to pay for stuff but will actively complain when they are asked to. 

Indeed, the games industry has been littered with false predictions of the future over the last decade or so. So, what is the future of gaming, then? In my opinion, it will mostly just be more of the same. Consoles won’t die anytime soon, VR won’t be a major aspect of gaming, mobile gaming won’t take the place of single player games, and so on. And if any of my own predictions turn out to be completely false, look forward to another article where I’ll make fun of myself for having had no foresight. 

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7 thoughts on “What Is The Future Of Gaming?

  1. I agree with most of your points, but I disagree with you on VR.
    I understand your point about disappointing sales and all that, but VR is still in its early days, and is rather expensive at the moment. As the technology improves, it should decrease in price and become more accessible to the public.
    Adding to this is Valve’s dedication to VR, since they have several games in development for the Vive, and if these new IPs are anything like Valve’s previous work, it should really help sell VR. Personally, I don’t think this will happen for at least 2-3 years, around the time when I think the next generation of consoles will be gaining traction. It’ll definitely be interesting to see where VR goes though.

    Liked by 1 person

    • VR technology will without a doubt improve over the years. And I’m sure that Virtual Reality will extend out of the gaming space and into experiences like live concerts, social gatherings, etc. However, there will always be irrevocable truths. Room scale VR won’t ever be accessible for those who are disabled, and motion sickness is still a huge problem.

      Right now, I’m also just not seeing how VR changes the gaming experience on a fundamental level. Every big innovation has altered how developers design their games (think the rise of online multiplayer). But in regard to VR, you’re essentially playing the same thing but with a 360 view and maybe motion controls. How is this truly changing game mechanics? Tennis on Wii is the same as Pong, except with the former, you swing your arm about. And when it comes to tech, I don’t think the public will ever not consider VR headsets ‘nerdy.’ Google Glass was ridiculed for the same reason. Nowadays, iPhones and TVs are basically a fashion accessory.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ah yeah, this clarifies your position a bit.
        I agree with what you say here – I think Valve then is VR’s last hope. If they can deliver a truly innovative experience, then I think VR will have a chance, but it’ll still be difficult to break into the mass consumption of the public.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. There will always be trends in gaming and the “future” will be ever changing which is why it’s often best to wait and see what proves to be successful.
    VR is not ready for mainstream audiences I feel. There are plenty of people who have it and are enjoying it but I feel there aren’t enough reasons for the majority of people to get on board yet. Plus the somewhat prohibitive costs for most people. I suspect a lot of VR sets will go the way of Kinects until it becomes more viable for most. Hope I’m wrong though!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Personally, until we invent fully-working holodecks, I’m happy to just sit back and watch trends come and go haha. But I am interested in seeing where VR goes, because it does have a lot of potential if designed for and implemented well.

    Liked by 1 person

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