For a long time, advances in gaming technology mostly revolved around advanced graphics. When the first Crysis was released in 2007, it was heralded as having the most realistic 3D graphics in gaming at the time, while spawning the popular “Can your computer run Crysis?” meme, due to its high technical demands.
While the quest for lifelike-graphics is still a part of the gaming industry, numerous other technologies have advanced and are now being implemented into the gaming industry. In this article, we’re going to look at 6 emergent gaming technology trends, and things to expect in 2020.
3D Scanning and Facial Recognition
3D facial scanning and recognition technology have been utilized in games for some time, notably sports games like the NBA 2K series which has allowed players to import selfies and create themselves as an NBA player. However, this technology has been limited, and it’s often difficult to achieve the best results based on a number of factors (camera quality, background lighting, etc).
Technology here is seriously improving, and we’re seeing advanced facial recognition technology that is able to build 3D models of your entire body, putting realistic avatars of yourself into the game. Furthermore, game companies are experimenting with facial recognition technology to identify account users, or block children from accessing age-inappropriate titles.
This could also do wonders for the online casino industry, such as verifying account holders or putting yourself at a virtual poker table. We’re already seeing a lot of technology improvements in the casino industry, such as live dealer rooms and 3D slot machines (which you can play here), so 3D scanning and facial recognition isn’t too far off.
Introduction of 5G technology
The introduction of 5G technology will significantly improve the situation of the gaming industry, in regards to online gaming, downloading game updates, and streaming gameplay.
Video game titles have become quite large in file size in recent times, with the industry average being around 20GB – 40GB for AAA titles, and some reaching as high as 80GB. The 2016 release of Doom, for example, was a whopping 80GB of hard drive space.
5G technology will be a blessing to downloading these massive game files, applying patches, and streaming the latest titles in hi-res glory.
Cloud computing technology is gradually gaining pace with more reliable and faster internet connections, especially as we’re looking forward to 5G internet mentioned above. Cloud-based gaming is an opportunity for the game industry to make games as easily accessible as music and movies. Imagine being able to browse a list of games and launch them immediately from a web browser, similar to Netflix. That’s the goal of cloud gaming.
It’s becoming a reality as numerous companies have invested into cloud gaming technology, and Google released their own Google Stadia cloud gaming service, which admittedly has been mired by a lackluster launch and technical issues, but it’s a preview of better technology to come.
Open source game development.
The game development scene is dominated mainly by AAA game developers, as well as smaller companies. This dominant environment may disappear in the future when new tools appear that make the purchase of a programming package (SDK) less important and make it easier for independent game developers and even loners to create and publish their own games.
In addition to real-world developers, the gaming community has proven to be able to make significant changes to existing games and create groundbreaking independent hits.
It will be interesting to see where open source software development will require games in the future. While we all focus on large game studios to watch for large releases, there are loads of freelance programmers who release games every week.
Although they don’t have the budget to offer games as large and spectacular as Rockstar Games and Ubisoft stables, some of them are extremely creative and have the potential to trigger traffic. In the past, it was necessary to purchase a programming package to create a successful game, but today new innovations are constantly being introduced that simplify and simplify the development of games.
Additional screens for handheld and consoles
Big game developers are eagerly latching onto new gaming technology that will allow players to enjoy their favorite game on one screen, and launch another application on the other screen.
Large companies such as Sony, Nintendo, Konami and Microsoft are already working on developing this technology. It’s nothing new, as Nintendo showcased this sort of technology with the Nintendo DS, but more developers are becoming interested in using the player’s smartphone as an additional display for gameplay statistics and other features.
VR will experience a second mini-boom
Virtual reality has been the “next big thing” for several years, but has had difficulty in truly reaching the mainstream market – until now. 2019 was a great year for VR sales, due to the latest Oculus Rift model, as well as Valve’s Index VR headset. Also, Valve announced the development of Half-Life: Alyx, a VR-exclusive Half-Life title (which admittedly isn’t exactly Half-Life 3, but it’s something).
The console wars will begin again
2020 will see the release of new versions of the Xbox and Playstation, which could re-ignite the console wars that have quieted down. Microsoft and Sony have been focused on in-generation updates, while Nintendo released the Switch.
The Xbox Scarlett and the Playstation 5 will both be released in 2020, with each company touting ground-breaking new technology in their consoles. The stage has been set for another battle of the console giants.