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The impact of emerging technologies on gaming

As the ’90s came to a close and the dawn of the new millennium drew near, many people feared emerging technology. Science books predicted that we’d have modern cities not unlike the one in The Jetsons and that robots would do our chores for us by 2020. Although that didn’t materialize technology has made huge strides in the last 20 years and shapes our daily lives in big ways – even when we don’t realize it.

That shirt Amazon told you would look good with the jeans you bought? That’s AI! All your prized data and photos being stored in iCloud? You can thank cloud computing for that. Like it or not, emerging technology is changing everything, including the games we play. Whether you still play The Sims or you’re a hardcore gamer, if you’re curious about how technology and gaming will collaborate in the future, here’s what you need to know.

Artificial intelligence

AI has been around for a while, handling everything from making recommendations about which Netflix series we should watch next to helping us filter spam emails in our Gmail inbox. It’s only in the recent past that we’ve seen AI technology become more robust, with most experts arguing that companies that refuse to adopt and adapt will die in the coming years.

Game developers have jumped at the opportunity to embrace this new technology, with many using AI to speed up and fine-tune the development process. Being able to respond quickly to the needs of their customers will give these companies a competitive advantage.

AI is also useful in prompting personalized recommendations for players and providing live support through chatbots. In the future, we can expect to see AI creating game content dynamically based on player behavior and preferences. It could also eventually be applied to automatically adapt the level of difficulty of a game based on the player’s skill level, ensuring games remain challenging and engaging. AI will create a more personalized gaming experience and help developers respond more quickly to changing needs and preferences.

Augmented reality

Virtual reality creates lifelike simulations, but augmented reality takes it a step further by seamlessly blending the physical world with the digital. It overlays 3D computer-generated content on your real-world surroundings, allowing you to interact with both elements. One of the first iterations of this technology was the wildly popular Pokémon Go app, which saw millions of players exploring their neighborhoods in search of virtual creatures.

This type of technology is already filtering through to online casinos. For example, users are able to interact with poker chips, cards, other players and even a live dealer at Royal Panda. This real-time feedback and next-level interaction enhances gameplay across all genres.

Cloud gaming

Remember the days of popping a disc into your PC to fire up your favorite games? That was eventually replaced by computer apps that allow you to download the game to your PC via Steam, EA Games or other game developers. Cloud gaming removes the need to download anything to your PC or device at all, with game data being stored securely in a cloud-based server and the streaming service run through your browser.

Some recent examples of this include:

  • Google Stadia
  • NVIDIA GeForce NOW
  • Amazon Luna
  • Xbox Game Pass

Haptic feedback technology

Most games we play stimulate our sight and hearing with mesmerizing graphics or catchy jingles. However, up until this point, games have not been able to engage our physical senses in a truly meaningful way. Physical sensations during gameplay can provide a more realistic and immersive experience, which is why developers are hard at work applying haptic feedback technology to their games.

This makes use of vibrations, pressure sensors or actuators to simulate touch, giving players an opportunity to feel the impact of the virtual world they’re interacting with. Imagine being able to feel the heat of the sun on your fingertips or the rumble of an approaching enemy. Just like 4D cinemas change the way we watch action movies, haptic feedback technology could eventually make gaming a multi-sensory experience, too.

Gesture and motion control

One of the first devices to use gesture and motion control technology was the Nintendo Wii, allowing us to play virtual tennis matches with our friends or go on a virtual jog. Then came Kinect, opening up an even wider range of games to play, with no remote controller in sight. Many companies are working toward combining motion control technology with augmented reality to provide hyper-realistic simulation games.

This could encompass everything from simulated tennis matches to combat-style games. In fact, there is so much buzz around the gesture recognition market that it is projected to generate $32.3bn in revenue by 2025.

The takeaway

When it comes to the future of the games we love, emerging technology is nothing to fear. In fact, by making games more realistic and immersive, it’s likely you’ll find it harder to pull yourself away from your favorite games in the years ahead!

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