Every year, gaming enthusiasts from all over the world flock to Brighton for the annual Develop gaming conference. The goal of the conference is to introduce new trends in the industry, new products and try to get a glimpse of where things are heading. Last year, many trends were discussed that could have a significant impact on how games will be played and developed in the future. Here are some of the trends that will surely transform the gaming landscape in the next few years.
Social Virtual Reality
Until recently, the focus of virtual gaming was mainly on individuals. But we can expect a growing number of developers to start developing VR games that are geared toward communities as well. For a long time, detractors of virtual reality games said that they were somewhat isolating. People like Dave Ranyard, of Sony, made it clear that they want to change that and go towards a more social experience.
Some have even talked about virtual arcades or multiplayer VR games which would be much more immersive than what we’ve seen from VR games so far.
2016 was the year of Pokémon Go, which was one of the first mainstream applications of augmented reality in a game. However, developers and observers still aren’t sure if Pokémon was just a fluke or the start of an actual trend. Lots of people have dismissed augmented reality as nothing more than bad VR, but people like Rami Ismail, of Vlambeer, strongly disagrees.
According to many observers, we’re going to see much more releases of augmented reality games in 2017 and even online gambling sites using augmented reality as part of their gaming platforms.
Mobile Meets TV
As gaming consoles change in their function and become more similar to multimedia centres, developers are looking in the direction of mobile for new inspiration. The next frontier according to them? Playing mobile games on TV.
And companies such as Nintendo have already started leading the way with the first mobile/home gaming console to ever be created: the Nintendo Switch. Nintendo decided to incorporate a tablet as part of the console’s design, and players will be able to take the console with them everywhere they go. If the console ends up being a hit, it won’t be surprising to see other giants such as Microsoft and Sony releasing their own mobile/home console hybrids. Even website based games like Nugget Bingo could soon be playable on your TV.
According to Jo Haslam of Mediatonic, the number of UK households with only one TV set has been steadily increasing in the last 10 years, which he believes is due to the advent of smartphone technology. The widespread use of smartphones have made TVs all but obsolete. We can expect the gaming industry to take notes and start veering gradually towards an almost totally mobile experience.
The future looks very promising for the gaming industry with new technologies such as augmented reality, social virtual gaming and portable home consoles making their entry on the scene. We can also expect 2017 to surprise us with many new developments and releases from Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft.