Video games: the biggest market for next gen tech?
Flash back to 1972 for a second. An arcade game came out that is routinely seen as the beginning of the revolution that leads us to the video game world we live in today. Pong, an Atari development, became the first game to be a recognized commercial success even though in retrospect the game seems incredibly simple. Just two computer generated blocks and a ball, and the players could only control up or down. We’ve moved on a lot since then, and these incredible developments show no signs of stopping.
Video games have always been an innovative mechanism in terms of creating next generation technology, with consumer demand for bigger and better titles that push previously defined boundaries of realism and expectation to the edge, coming out the other side with the kind of developments that wouldn’t necessarily have been predicted to arrive quite so soon. Whatever console you grew up with, it is almost certain to pale in comparison to what has taken its place just a decade later.
Over the last 10 years, endless ambition and incredible feats of design have left us with a much more impressive gaming experience, with photo-realism of characters now more of an expectation rather than a hope, as physical rendering of actors becomes much more accurately represented in the game world, and real-life cities are stunningly modeled to fit story-lines. All of these complexities in the design stage are taken for granted by the time we’ve played the game a few times, and it is easy for gamers to get used to the high levels attained by those constructing the games they love.
New interaction methods are also opening the video game market up, as each new idea fights for a market share. Virtual reality has been the subject of rumors and science fiction depictions for a long time, as people get more and more excited by the possibilities that it may bring. With several companies racing to be the first to perfect the technology, it could be an exciting development to watch in the very near future. 3D technology is also coming to the gaming industry along with VR, as it follows up on the repeated blockbuster successes of 3D films in cinemas as well as the increase in people buying 3D compatible televisions, so the home infrastructure is already in place to make this a reality.
Online gaming of course plays a massive part in the huge strides taken by the gaming industry over the last decade or so. Word of mouth is key to spreading the excitement of any new game or concept, so having loads of gamers connected over the same Internet servers at once will only increase how rapidly these messages are delivered. Titles such as World of Warcraft have utilized online gaming to propel themselves ahead of competitors and focused on improving the experience for the user over anything else, which provides feedback on what developments should be prioritized. This in turn increases the popularity of the game as excited users tell fellow gamers of their positive experiences and causes even more people to start playing, as Bobby Kotick of Activision Blizzard is no doubt aware, as shown in the continued successes of the franchise.
With so many new developments promising further advances in the video game experience, and as the artificial intelligence of the computer you are playing against continues to improve its response levels, it is certainly an exciting time for all to see what new next generation technology will come about thanks to the creativity of the video game industry.