We all love a retro game of Pac-Man or Super Mario Brothers, but the gaming industry has moved forward in giant leaps in the past two decades as technology has improved. The video games experience now is a good deal different than what your parents (or even older siblings) may remember. Here’s a look at the most important technological advancements in the gaming world.
3D Design Software: More realistic graphics
The original video games were two-dimensional. You were only able to move your character in a few different directions; mainly up, down, forward and backward. Yet as graphics software started to improve in the 1990s, along with it came new and improved 3D design capabilities. Almost all new games today are built in 3D, for a more dynamic and impressive-looking world. Pixelated graphics have given way to realistic animations that really draw you in.
Artificial Intelligence: Bigger and better challenges
Another type of technology that has improved the gaming experience is the growth of AI. Artificial Intelligence has been a part of game design from the beginning. When you play an original game of Pong, you’re playing against the computer. However, the moves were basic and predictable. Today’s AI is far craftier, using the same type of strategies that a human opponent might think of. This is particularly apparent in war games, where clever AI might use tactics you’d actually come across on a battlefield. This makes games a lot more challenging than in the past, and it will continue to do so as AI is getting smarter every day. At the moment, AI technology is focusing on creating bots that are capable of growing and learning. In a recent competition, an Elon Musk-funded OpenAI bot was able to defeat a professional human player in several games of Dota 2. By playing versions of itself in preparation, the bot was able to learn how the game worked far faster than any human could.
Faster Internet: Real-time, multiplayer games
We play a lot of games online, a platform that wasn’t available in the 1980s. Online gaming allows multiple human players to take part in a realistic experience, transforming gaming into a social outlet. World of Warcraft is a prime example of this global phenomenon, with over eight million subscribers taking part in games with one another from far-flung locations.
Another example is the rise of live casino games, where dealers interact with gamers in real time for a virtual casino experience. As online connectivity merges with online casinos and virtual reality technology, websites such as CasinoEuro can offer an increasingly immersive 3D gaming experience. Between the rise of social media and the widespread availability of high-speed internet, gaming is more democratic and international.
Mobile Technology: Gaming on the go
You don’t have to sit glued to your Xbox any longer to enjoy your games. Portable gaming consoles are nothing new, and the Nintendo Gameboy is still a pleasure to play. However, now you can download many games on your smartphone via mobile apps and tie-ins, or use cloud-based technology to stay connected to your online game. Players don’t have to purchase expensive consoles or play on a home PC, instead enjoying on-the-go technology that allows them to play with friends or during a commute. The new medium of a mobile screen has also allowed game developers to get creative with the smaller format and ubiquitous online connection, for simple yet clever games like Angry Birds.
Virtual Reality: The future of gaming
The latest form of technology transforming the face of gaming merges all of the advances mentioned above. Virtual Reality is ushering in a new golden age of gaming, according to experts like Xbox co-founder Otto Berkes. The VR gaming experience allows you to not only interact with characters, but experience the feeling of travelling in time and space to become part of the action onscreen. While VR headsets like the Oculus Rift are in their infancy now, you can expect the future to become much less clunky. A player’s body could be potentially mapped directly into the game, without any need to hold any other device. When you hold out your hands, you’ll see them in front of you for a fully immersive and incredibly engaging experience.
So what can we expect next as gaming technology continues to improve? Between the new challenges presented by smart AI and the incredible immersive possibilities presented by virtual reality, the next generation of gaming will be more intriguing than ever.