At The Forefront:
Technology is the prime force that drives the future of our civilization. It has brought in, over the years, unimaginable changes beginning from the Industrial revolution. The gaming industry is at the vanguard of this technological change today. It is experimenting with futuristic technology at a breakneck speed making the gadgets in science fiction movies look too old.
Whichever technological breakthrough is simultaneously faster, economical, and better, become the golden standard. This logic holds well in the gaming industry too. Despite the technological advances till now, it takes a big team and the finances of a movie, to produce a major video game! Even though technology has helped, the cost is still high. Certain unbelievable advances in gaming technology, as it evolves further, will cut down the cost more and help improve the overall quality of future games. They are as follows:
Breakthrough in Gaming Technology Changes:
(1) Neural Networks:
Major games of today are the consequence of a highly complex game design which is time-consuming. Time and money can be saved further if Procedural Content Generation, which is a part of Neural Networks, is developed. Neural Networks, a part of Artificial Intelligence, can be trained to create realistic vehicles, buildings, and sound from a vast volume of data.
Over time, it decides, through Deep Learning, what is good and realistic for the game and its environment. These neural networks generate lots of options from which the designer can choose. A game designer can simply type some parameters of the assets and have it completed in a short time which is less expensive and time-saving.
(2) Custom Made Games:
Every single move, click, or fall made by the player is recorded by data analysts. Analyzing these micro-actions and studying them can reveal patterns. They reveal the motivations of players. Video games in the past came with standard games and levels for all users.
But today, based on mathematical modeling of data, algorithms for games can be designed and tweaked according to the preferences of each player. When you play a custom made game, challenges, tasks, and levels will be presented to you based on your comfort quotient. Custom Made Games means enhanced gameplay experience in the future.
(3) Cloud streaming:
It is the natural next step after console-based gaming. The only limitation was the access to reliable high-speed internet. It’s only a matter of time before gaming takes the leap to High Definition Cloud streaming.
From Nvidia’s grid to Google’s Project Stream to more ambitious ones like EA’s Origin Access Premier and Microsoft’s X, cloud streaming is going big. With internet speeds reaching gigabit levels across the world, everyone wants to be in the cloud gaming space. A near future in which high quality, platform-agnostic, cloud-based gaming becoming a reality sounds very normal!
(4) Console quality mobile hardware:
Mobile hardware is getting faster and more efficient by the day. There was a leap to the 7-nanometer processor and S.O.C. or System on Chips manufacturers have opened the doors to greater levels of performance.
Apple’s A12 BIONIC, Snapdragon 8150, and Kirin 980 boast of processing and graphic capabilities well in excess of many entry and mid-level laptops. They are faster and radically more efficient than some 7th generation consoles. A device more powerful than a PS3 console inside your pocket is a reality. This will catapult mobile-based gaming to the next level.
(5) RTX Ray Tracing:
Ray tracing essentially simulates the paths taken by actual rays of light in an environment. Games were front-loaded with light effects but ray tracing simulates it real-time. This is in opposition to the approximations employed by the conventional lighting models in gaming. A full ray tracing implementation would yield a photo-realistically accurate model of light.
The immersive experience of the game can increase by notches unlike in the past due to the accurate rendering of light and shadow on the screen. The visual quality of video games can be improved by real-time ray tracing. It adds the element of visual realism that is missing from video games today.
(6) Cutting Edge Graphics:
Graphics is one component to achieve a full in-depth immersive experience for gaming. A dedicated Graphics Processing Unit or G.P.U. can handle the visual effects more effectively.
Epic Games revealed their latest game engine called Unreal Engine 5. The goal of Unreal Engine 5 is to enable developers to create elaborate game worlds quickly. Next-generation animation, fur, and hair rendering in real-time, accurate particle and debris simulation, photogrammetry, foliage, and cloud rendering can take graphics to the next level.
(7) Haptic technology:
This enables one to get rid of the keyboards, controls, and joysticks to have an unrestricted gaming experience in the future. The gaming suits of the future employing haptic technology can make the player feel everything ranging from a breeze to a stab in the most realistic way.
3D touch used in the TESLA Suit, using elaborate body mapping, can mimic sensations through vibrations based on the actions of the gamer. Epidermal VR, a thin VR Skin developed by Northwestern University, is a sensor-enabled, strapless vest without a battery using near field communication for future gaming.
(8) Console Less Gaming:
You will soon be able to play any high-resolution game, at high speed across platforms on a phone screen, with just a controller and internet connection. No consoles and hardware are required. Any controller, including a keyboard and mouse, can be used to play the games. Many giants have already forayed into this futuristic cloud-enabled console-less gaming.
On Google’s Stadia platform, the game runs directly from Google’s data center. Microsoft’s Project xCloud works on android phones too and functions even with Bluetooth controllers enabled by a high-speed wi-fi connection. Both require no downloads or hardware acceleration on the device.
With Amazon Luna and Nintendo GeForce NOW promising exciting games streamed from the cloud, the winner will be the one who offers the best in terms of high resolution, frame rate, latency, game library, and data usage at less price. The future of console-less gaming looks promising.
(9) Augmented Reality (A.R.)
In Augmented Reality, the objects in the real world are improved by superimposing the user’s real world view with computer-generated images offering a composite view. It enables interaction in real-time and a three-dimensional registration of real as well as virtual objects.
Apart from Pokemon Go which impressed all and sundry, there are many popular AR-based games available on both ios and android platforms such as Jurassic World Alive, Neylon Clash, Ingress Prime, and Egg Inc. The future Augmented Reality can create cutting edge mobile based-high end games.
(10) Mixed Reality (M.R.):
Mixed Reality produces new environments by merging both the real and the virtual world. It creates visualization where physical and digital objects can interact and exist together in real-time. Mixed Reality enables the graphical overlay to associate with the real world.
A mixed-reality smart glass by Microsoft was released in 2019 called HOLOlens 2. High resolution, usage of holograms, eye tracking, and high capacity hardware makes HOLOlens 2 stand apart. Some interesting games available on MR headsets using the Windows Mixed Reality platform are Danger Goat, Half-Life: Alyx, and Moss.
With power-efficient and adjustable displays, a real-time adaptation based on eye movements, less weight, and ergonomic designs the gaming experience through MR headsets and glasses will dramatically grow interactive immersion in the near future. With more enhanced features in the pipeline, Mixed Reality will be capable of spearheading unprecedented advances in future gaming.
(11) Virtual Reality (V.R.):
Virtual Reality creates a simulated experience mimicking the real world or creating an entirely different one from the real world. Standard V.R. systems of today use V.R. headsets. Through multi-projected environments, they generate realistic visuals, sounds, and various sensations.
The users can immerse themselves in a Virtual Reality enabled 3D created environment. SONY PSVR, Oculus Quest, HTC Vive, etc. are popular V.R. gaming headsets. Some of the popular VR games available across various platforms right now are Astro Bot Rescue Mission, Beat Saber, and Farpoint.
The locomotion limitation is being overcome by V.R.-enabled Omnidirectional Treadmills offering a range of motions for gaming. Playstation V.R. 2 headset by Sony is being launched soon. Faster data processing enabled by 5G internet connectivity on a cloud system will propel the creation of compact V.R. headsets without processors in the future.
(12) Extended Reality (X.R.):
It exploits the synergy when Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Realities come together. Qualcomm, the company which makes the chip for the Oculus quest V.R. headset announced that within 2021, they will start collaborating with 15 global operators to deliver Extended Reality Viewers as part of their 5g offerings.
The X.R. Viewers glasses are lightweight glasses that can be connected to 5G capable Smartphones powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon-powered processor. Alongside High bandwidth, low latency is essential for great Extended Reality content. X.R. and 5G together can produce complex graphics, 360-degree videos, and volumetric scenes. Extended Reality will be a buzzword soon.
(13) The Quantum Future?
Quantum computers are unimaginably faster than the current ones. All the computers today work in binary but quantum computers work using qubits. With Google already having achieved quantum supremacy, quantum computing technology will be employed soon in gaming. We will all be in for a shock when we learn about the possibilities!
Futuristic Digital Humans?
The gaming industry is leading the change by embracing the technological disruption spreading like wildfire driven by the fourth industrial revolution. The breakthrough technologies in gaming can enhance the immersive user experience, mainstream these technologies as well as bring down their cost. The gaming industry makes futuristic technology a possibility right here and right now.