The world of videogames has always pushed the boundaries of technology. That’s what makes it one of the most exciting, and forward-thinking industries on the planet. Videogames are the reason that graphics processing has advanced to its current level. It’s why online streaming is so ubiquitous. If you haven’t heard, Twitch now has 120 million viewers every month. YouTube, on the other hand, owes a huge debt to gamers, who power some of its biggest channels.
Gaming pushes technology hard. It also moulds and defines consumer habits, and shapes the world in which technology thrives. It’s no surprise that we look to the world of gaming to get a sense of the future. It’s where it all starts! So, what’s on the horizon right now?
Brain stimulators – Yes, these electronic devices really do exist! They seamlessly attach to our head for a 45-minute session of electro-stimulation. Games have started using them to improve their response time and reactions in tournaments. Slowly, these devices are making their way to the mainstream market. It’s a little like steroids for gamers! If you want to get technical, these devices use transcranial direct current stimulation (or TDCS), and they improve synapse connection. Clever, huh?
Cloud gaming – Gaming was actually one of the first industries to experiment with cloud functionality. The likes of World of Warcraft is a tentative step, though not considered fully cloud compatible. It still uses an outside server, and it’s not accessible from, say, your mobile while on the go. Now, however, things are starting to change. The Square Enix Project Flare will open up cloud gaming like never before. They’re planning a world with over 32 km of playable space. It’s video game immersion like never before.
Virtual reality – If you’ve visited a tech blog in the last two years, you’ll have heard of Oculus Rift. It’s the ubiquitous virtual reality headset that’s being readied for market release in 2016. It originally began as a KickStarter campaign, raising over $2 million in the process. The company was later bought by Facebook for a staggering $2 billion. The initial tests and previews look like a real game-changer. Sony are hot on their heels with their own headset, due for a slightly later release.
Eye tracking – Whatever you think of Nintendo’s Wii, there’s no denying it changed the face of gaming. It took the underground world of gaming into your parents’ living room. It became a family affair, and brought movement recognition into the mainstream. XBox and Playstation soon followed suit with their Kinect and Move (respectively). The next generation of this technology is eye tracking. Early game demos show technology that allows users to control crosshairs with their eyes. You will simply look at an enemy to move the target, making the gaming world even more real.
This technology can’t get here soon enough, if you ask us! The gaming world has always pushed the boundaries, and brought brave new technology to the masses. And, it feels like we’re on the cusp of something special!