Video games have been around for about 50 years, and in that time, their evolution has been pretty impressive. They’ve gone from the incredibly simple likes of Pong to the multiplayer complexity of World of Warcraft and beyond. In some ways, games have become more like movies, with better graphics, complex storylines and even believable character development.
The way we actually play games, however, has not changed that much. From the earliest days, the two main platforms have been the PC and the console, and although both have got more powerful as new models have come along, we still generally play sitting in front of a screen, using a keyboard, mouse or handheld controller.
The arrival of reliable, high-speed internet opened up new possibilities for gaming, most notably the arrival of massive multiplayer online games that allow hundreds of gamers worldwide to interact in a shared virtual environment. Online casinos also made their presence felt from the very beginning of the worldwide web, and have continued to improve dramatically: play reel king potty slot for free to see for yourself. However, the possibilities of using the internet for gaming are actually only just starting to be explored, as we shall see.
Gaming on the cloud
The future of gaming is on the cloud. Although new model consoles are still being launched, many predict that they will soon be obsolete, especially if they no longer have big-name games exclusively bundled with them. The alternative is to stream playable games on any device with a strong internet connection, via a subscription service similar to the model of Netflix or Spotify.
With cloud streaming, all the processing is done online, meaning that you no longer need a gaming computer or powerful console in order to play complex, high-resolution games. In return for an annual fee, you can use your Xbox Game Pass or Google Stadia account to access hundreds of different games and play them wherever and whenever you want.
The pros and cons
With so many games to choose from now on the market, buying them one at a time in physical form can seem prohibitively expensive. Being able to pick and choose for a single payment makes much more sense, especially as we are now coming to accept the streaming model as the norm for all kinds of media consumption. It makes sense for families too, as one subscription can cover a number of devices, meaning there’s something for everyone.
The main drawback at the moment has to do with latency issues. Any lag in streaming is going to seriously impact the playability of a game. This problem will eventually be overcome, however, and can be put down to teething difficulties.
Mobile as first choice
Generations of gamers have grown up thinking of console gaming as the norm, but this isn’t the case for generation Z and beyond. These youngsters look to their phones as the main platform for almost every digital experience, and this includes gaming. With the cloud allowing games to be streamed on desktops, laptops, TVs, tablets or phones, mobile is now being targeted as the first choice platform by developers keen to tap into a huge potential market.
More live streaming
Google recently unveiled its new wi-fi enabled gamepad that included two interesting new features. The first is the option to call up Google Assistant to search the web for information if you get stuck during a game. The second is a ‘capture’ button that makes it easy to upload your gaming experience to YouTube: live-streaming your performance to the world.
With the encouragement of tech giants like Google, live streaming of games as they are played by ordinary gamers will become much more common. While some will have audiences of thousands and will be able to turn a tidy profit from their gaming prowess, most will be streaming for the benefit of their friends. It’s inevitable that live streaming will be incorporated into social media it serves as both a form of free advertising for the Best PSP Games and also as a lucrative exercise in community building around the game in question.
At the same time, Esports, the ultimate in gaming and streaming platform featuring professional players, will continue to grow in popularity, just like Twitch Build. The result will be a growing audience of passive gamers, content to sit and watch others play as game designers focus more on spectator thrills alongside playability.
Big changes are coming in the not-too-distant future, with streaming set to usurp one-time purchases and mobile devices ousting the console as the platform of choice. As gaming, video watching and social media all increasingly overlap, the gaming habits of tomorrow could look very different from today.