Following the inception of Oculus, PSVR and HTC Vive, Virtual Reality (VR) games have entered the mainstream in a big way – so much so that virtual battlefields, 3dRudder controllers for VR gaming and AI chess boards stole the show at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show (CES).
But in a rapidly evolving gaming industry, the latest gaming developments can be difficult to discover. In a bid to steer our readers to the newest technologies, from cloud streaming to Augmented and Virtual Reality, we’ve compiled a list of most innovative tech creations shaping the future of the gaming industry.
Virtual Reality (VR)
While Virtual Reality games have existed for years, much of the equipment and headsets of the 90’s and 00’s failed to transport gamers to their desired digital dimension. Fast-forward a decade, however, and VR technology has transformed the gaming industry. Today, players can completely escape into another world where they can interact with virtual landscapes and characters. But while we appear to be experiencing something of a VR renaissance, the road to mainstreaming VR hasn’t been easy.
Only over the last few years has VR started to gain serious traction. Take the 3dRudder, for example, a controller which allows you to naturally control gameplay with your feet. This platform is perfect for everything from immersive VR skiing to flying a plane or chasing opponents in an action game, but this hands-off VR gaming experience has only entered the mainstream recently.
Another new VR tech trend that has only recently entered the mainstream is the Disney Research Teams haptic ‘force jacket’ that simulates physical sensations, like having snakes slither over your body. And as we’re already seeing, when VR technologies like these become adapted in games, and technologies become cheaper and more accessible, games become more and more realistic.
It’s clear from some of the latest VR sets on display at this year’s CES, including new head-mounted displays with haptics, eye and motion tracking, 360-degree video and directional sound, that if one new piece of tech is too expensive for the average gamer, alternative models are set to join the market before long. Options include the Samsung Gear VR headset, PlayStation VR, and Oculus Rift VR which can be used in popular games such Skyrim VR and Elite: Dangerous, and cheaper, mobile options like Gear VR and Daydream. With each new VR tech development, the online worlds created are becoming more realistic.
Mobile is the most popular gaming platform. And today, there are a vast number of operators competing for a slice of the mobile gaming market share, with creators like Joingo at the forefront. Recently, VR and mobile gaming arenas have enmeshed to create a new genre of mobile gaming. Sticking with the game operator and developer Joingo, and exploring their immersive Rivers Casino mobile app, we can see how new technologies can create a casino experience unlike any other. Gamers can place chips on the table, pick up cards and interact with other players all on their mobile phone.
Available on iOS and Android, the Rivers Casino app offers users unlimited game play on a wide range of free casino games like Slots, Baccarat, Blackjack, Roulette, Texas Hold ’em Poker and more. And as mobile gaming has proven to be the most popular platform with users, Joingo have united key tech developments like VR with mobile creating a new gaming genre and enhancing user engagement and enjoyment in the process.
Augmented Reality (AR)
Augmented reality games were perhaps the hottest category at the 2018 CES, the biggest advantage being that AR is more accessible than VR. Using technology already found in most smartphones, AR takes a player’s physical environment and overlays digital information on top, altering our real-world experience. Think Pokémon Go, which uses your phone camera and GPS system to place Pokémon characters in your world.
This year sees new developments in AR technology such as Apple’s ARKit and Google’s ARCore. And with AR set to overtake VR over the next few years, it is only natural that AR mobile gaming is quickly becoming an influential tech development in the future of gaming. New AR game MekaMon was one of the most popular attractions at the CES, featuring spider robots on virtual battlefields, all of which can be controlled with a smartphone.
Cloud Gaming Services/Cloud Game Streaming Service
Cloud streaming has been hailed as the future of gaming, but how does it work? Rather than having to use a console or PC to play a graphic-intensive game, a powerful cloud server runs a game on your behalf, transferring your keyboard and mouse instructions over the network. So, you simply see the gameplay streamed to your device, like a video.
Sometimes called gaming on demand, cloud streaming makes instant play accessible to everyone. Not only does this platform-independent style of gaming remove the need for expensive software, but you can play your favorite games on any device at any time as long as you have a strong internet connection. Streaming sites such as Vortex and GameTreeTV are popular with gamers. Cloud streaming is also beginning to take hold of new arenas, such as television. In the future, it’s thought that TV manufacturers will integrate cloud gaming into their smart TV’s and Google are currently developing cloud games for their Yeti platform, which will be available on Chromecast-enabled devices.
The future of new tech trends involving VR, AR and Cloud gaming looks bright, and with the world’s biggest tech players joining forces and competing to become the best, we can all expect more innovative and interactive games over the coming years. What do you think of VR, AR and Cloud gaming? What are your favorite puzzle or casino games? Let us know in the comments section.
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