The popularity of the gaming industry is undeniable. In 2018, sales from the global gaming industry reached over $125 billion. And in 2017 it beat out TV and TV streaming services as well as film and music to become the most popular – and profitable – forms of entertainment. This is due – in large part – to the mass growth of technology, which has completely transformed the way we live, work and play.
The rise of home computers between the 1980s and 1990s saw with it the release of more computer games, with better graphics, multimedia abilities and CD-Roms; this was paralleled by improvements on popular consoles of the time like GameBoy, Super Nintendo, Sega and Dreamcast.
The rise of mobile usage from the start of the 2000s pushed games further. Over the past 20 years, mobile ownership (and alongside it, mobile gaming) has proliferated; there are now more than 2.71 billion smartphone users in the world today, accounting for 35.13% of the world’s population. Mobile gaming now makes up to 50% of the total gaming market, and in 2018 was worth an estimated $134.9 billion.
The evolution of technology has continued to fuel the consumer demand for more – and better – gaming experiences. Here are some of the top ways that technology is boosting the gaming industry in 2019.
Virtual and Augmented Reality
Some of the biggest conversations in tech — especially when in comes to gaming — are happening around virtual and augmented reality. Virtual reality allows users to become immersed in a created environment and, depending on how advanced the technology, even interact with a 3D world. Augmented reality, by comparison, is the ability to project or view non-real elements into the real world.
These days, advancements in VR gaming have come in the form of headsets, like the Oculus Rift S. As the headsets get better, so too, do the games — and of course, the VR experience overall.
The popularity of augmented reality has grown too. The excitement of the release of Pokemon Go in 2016, as well as Minecraft Earth in 2019, are big indicators of how successful augmented reality has become within gaming. It’s a space that’s sure to grow over the next several years.
The launch of the iPhone X came with it some exciting new upgrades and featues for consumers — one of which was facial recognition. But facial recognition software has had a larger impact than security and identification. It’s actually allowed gaming systems to recreate the likeness of their players in the games themselves to create avatars.
Further advancements in facial recognition technology could mean that in the future, games could also react to a player’s expression — getting less challenging, for instance, if a player grimaces.
Going High Def
While 1080 pixels has felt pretty magnificent in terms of displays, 4K gaming is just around the corner. Technology of computer screens, mobile devices and televisions has been getting better and better every year, with many more supporting 4K capability. Which means that the graphics of games look the best they’ve ever had.
This has provided developers with the challenges of ensuring the graphics of their games are up to scratch. With consumers having access to 4K displays, it means their games need to look just as good as the sports, films and tv shows they already watch.
One of the important ways that technology has affected gaming, especially online casino games, is through the development of affiliate bingo sites. Bingo has always been an incredibly popular game; but the advent of online gaming saw the diminished attendance of people in their favourite bingo halls.
By allowing bingo players to compare promotions such as no deposit bingo bonus games across various bingo operators, bingo affiliate sites have helped the industry to bounce back. More people than ever are now playing the game — along with other casino games — online. Being able to see all the choices of which bingo site is best, on one easy-to-use platform, has certainly helped with the rise of casino games over the past few years.
Gesture and voice control
Much like facial recognition, gesture and voice control have become popular technological features that have worked their way into the gaming industry over the past few years. Gesture control technology allows users to interact with their device with the wave of their hands using a tracking 3D camera.
Voice controlled products — including Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Siri have been around for awhile. Improvements in the technology has resulted in the rise of voice controlled gaming, which uses a player’s voice to make dictate actions in the console as well as during gameplay and on associated social media channels.
Gesture, alongside voice control, could mean that players no longer need to have a hand-held controller. It’s exciting technology which the industry will definitely look to utilise more in the future.
Graphics, Sound and Animation
There have been big leaps across the entertainment and creative industries in terms of the quality of products. But the advances in all three areas have, of course, had a massive affect on the gaming experience for players.
They’ve also influenced the rise of massive single-player titles, like Red Dead Redemption 2. With the quality of these elements coming together, players can now experience gaming worlds as immersive storylines, and journey through the gaming landscape as if it were a real life film. The demand for these big releases has put pressure on developers to make their games the best in the market — with the tech available to them, gaming experiences just keep getting better.
image credit: Gaming with tech via Jacob Lund/shutterstock