The future of gaming?

This was ‘state of the art’ back in the good old days!

My first experience of gaming was on a Binatone system my dad bought one year, many many moons ago; and I remember being blown away by being able to control a line of pixels on the screen and batting a ball back at my opponent in a simple game of tennis. Gaming has changed dramatically since then, with graphics now sometimes near to photorealism, and online play becoming a major part of our hobby. But what will gaming be like in years to come?

I think in years to come, most of the consoles will either be hybrids like the Nintendo Switch, or a streaming stick, like the Amazon Fire TV, that you can take away with you anywhere. With console graphics better than ever, and mobile devices quickly catching up with them, I think this is the way the market will eventually go as the power of consoles reach a plateau.

Nintendo’s hybrid console idea may well become the norm in the future.

The Switch is a fantastic device, and the sense of freedom you get by not being shackled to your TV is amazing. I think if manufacturers can devise a handheld which has a dock that can add extra graphical effects, and handle 4K (or 8K perhaps?) displays, it would make for a pretty decent console. PSNow has proven that streaming games can work really well with the right connection, and I think an HDMI stick that you can plug in to any TV could make a cheaper alternative to a costly console, with players paying a rental fee or subscription each month for streaming a selection of the latest titles.

VR could well become more mainstream in the future.

I also think VR has a chance of mainstream success in the near future, if they can manage to devise a way to play fast-paced first person games without any problems – mainly the need to have a sick bag handy! This would open up VR to all games, rather than just titles designed specifically for headsets. A lot of the titles available for PSVR have been lambasted for being too short, and more like demos, and I think they need to open it up to a wider variety of titles. They could also do with cutting down the cost of the headset and the cabling required, which limits their audience somewhat.

A gaming subscription service much like Netflix could well be the way we play all of our games in future.

I also think the way we buy games will change, and games will become more service-based, with a monthly subscription paid for access to a selection of titles. EA have started doing this with EA Access for example, which by all accounts is a good service for the money you pay. I can see this expanding in future, with other companies offering a similar service. Microsoft recently launched Xbox Game Pass, that gives players access to a selection of titles for a monthly fee. I think eventually these subscriptions could be merged into your PS+ and Xbox Live Gold subscription to offer you a broader selection of titles, and it will become more like a Netflix-style service for gaming.

Loot boxes can make publishers huge amounts of money, but the recent Battlefront 2 furore was a step too far.

As for the games themselves, I hope single player games are still around in 10 years, and we’re not bombarded with loot crates (thank you EA!), and other nefarious ways to leverage money from players. I don’t mind cosmetic microtransactions, as they can be easily ignored; but ‘pay to win’ special items in multiplayer games really grind my gears, and give players with cash to burn an unfair advantage. I think popular games like Call of Duty and FIFA will still be around, but I’m a bit concerned that some other great AAA experiences like the Dishonored and Wolfenstein franchises don’t get the support they deserve, and we’ll be left with a less diverse selection of AAA games to choose from.

While gaming has made great strides forward in recent years, it has also made a few huge steps backwards, and I just hope we’re not teetering on a cliff edge. Otherwise we may have to go back to consoles like the old Binatone systems of yesteryear to relive the ‘good old days’ of gaming.

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Written by Kevin M

I've been addicted to gaming since my parents bought an Atari console way back in the 70's. I progressed to the iconic Speccy, Amiga, and all the Playstation platforms. Having seen games evolve from single pixel bat and ball, to HD constructed environments, gaming has changed much from my early years. Having defeated the rock hard R-Type on the Speccy, the biggest challenge I've faced so far is putting up with the hordes of American teens spouting abuse in the current generation of consoles, noob indeed!

One comment

  1. Kate Yap /

    In the far future, we’d probably see stuff life contact lenses or glasses that act as full VR machines. I don’t know if it’s a great thing with the current VR tech. though… I mean, most first person games are very static in combat, Skyrim for example.

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