Computer games technology has come a long way since its very first steps in 1958; Pong, a game developed by physicist William Higinbotham, was considered groundbreaking at the time, but would be ridiculed for its simplicity nowadays. From 8-bit technology and the first role-playing games to the brink of virtual reality, few sectors have grown as quickly, or completely, as the gaming industry, and gamers from around the world want more. A product of its own successes, the gaming sector is going places, and it’s taking us all along for the ride. Are you ready to peek into the future of gaming?
The evolution of gaming: From humble beginnings to now
Its format – two electronically controlled paddles and a ball, accompanied by the familiar ‘blip’ noise many gamers grew up with – became recognizable the world over, and introduced a whole new generation to an industry that was about to explode beyond anybody’s wildest dreams. We’re talking, of course, about Pong, and the computer games industry that followed not far behind. Regardless of the decade you grew up in you’ve no doubt heard of pong, even if the games you cut your teeth on were far more sophisticated. These days, computer games involve 3D graphics that are out of this world, colors that pop from the screen, platform scenarios so real you could live them, and sounds that materialize all around you; none of these would have been possible without Pong, or the technological advancements that followed in that first game’s wake, and yet we rarely stop and think about the origins of our favorite titles. You see, the technological advancements that we’ve all become so accustomed to are absolutely central to the evolution of gaming and, whether you’ve read about any upcoming software of hardware recently, you can bet that there’s something in the pipeline on any given day.
So, what are some of the biggest technological advancements to have happened, and how have they impacted gaming? Let’s look…
The development of new consoles
One of the biggest, and by far the best, technological advancements in gaming has been the arrival of new consoles; from the PlayStation and X-Box, to the Nintendo Wii and beyond, gamers now have a choice what they play, and how they play it. Indeed, many gamers are choosing to stick with their PC when it comes to platform gaming and MMORPGs, or to buy multiple consoles in the hopes of experiencing a certain game in new ways. Even mobile phones and smartphones want in on the action, and the market has expanded tenfold in recent years. The increasing number of consoles on the market means that competition is fierce – and the consumer is benefitting.
The arrival of the Internet
The arrival of the Internet, and its increasing popularity, has done wonders for the gaming sector, introducing an entirely new level of play that had never been seen before. Role-play games and MMORPGs, including EverQuest, World of Warcraft, and Guild Wars were developed, and now thrive, on the back of the Internet’s success, while multiplayer gaming formats, such as those present in Call of Duty, Rocket League, and Halo, have allowed players from around the world to interact, do battle, and increase their gaming prowess; this new technology, as it was then, has opened the floodgates of possibility for games studios and consumers. Indeed, Activision Blizzard, the makers of World of Warcraft, Overwatch, Diablo, and Angry Birds Star Wars, amongst others, has grown to become one of the most profitable western entertainment organizations ever, and it’s the Internet that has led them to the top. The CEO of the studio behind gamers’ beloved Call of Duty, Bobby Kotick, has successfully navigated his company to the top, following the merger of Activision and Blizzard. With a movie studio under his belt now too, who knows where the gaming giant will go next?
The improvement of graphics and sound
Okay, so it was never going to be hard to expand upon the simplistic nature of Pong, even 8-bit, which is considered Neanderthal these days, was an improvement. However, the astounding graphics that gamers have become accustomed to this century could never have happened if it wasn’t for advancements in visual and audible technology. Take high definition, for example, which has massively improved the clarity of moving images while placing gamers in the action, and illustrative technology, which creates photo realistic textures in platform games. The sound quality found in games is exponentially better too, leading to an all-round better experience for players around the world.
What does the future hold?
Where do all of these technological advancements leave us now? Is there anywhere left to go in the future? As we’re sure you’re already aware, things can only get better from here on in, and we’re already seeing glimpses of the technological developments waiting in the wings. Facial and voice recognition, which are being developed so that games can be created around their players, as well as gesture controlled titles, virtual reality, and augmented reality, are already being seen across the gaming industry; Pokémon Go, anyone? In addition, wearable gaming and titles hosted across the cloud are making their entrance as we speak; the future is looking incredibly exciting for gamers, regardless of the genre they play.
So, here’s the thing; technology is bringing the gaming sector to more people than ever before, and enticing those who may have shunned the combat scenario game, or science fiction. Gamers are no longer ashamed to admit their pastime, and the industry has grown to be one of the biggest in the world. Thanks to technological advancements games are in the here and now, and they’re no longer so far removed from real life – and isn’t that how we’ve come to enjoy them best?