Opinion: Gaming technology and VR – a growing sphere of influence
(Image Credit: iStockPhoto/mikkelwilliam)
Video gaming has evolved from a teenage pastime to one of the most lucrative industries in the world. It is no longer simply a leisure pastime and many once- hobbyists across the world are now employed to test and play video games for a living. Even before gaming evolved to this stage, it was a world unto itself but only few would have predicted the tour de force that it is today.
From the early days of arcade games and home consoles to mobile and all-in-one gaming and entertainment devices, gaming has come a long way from its humble beginnings. The days of grainy graphics and basic functionality are long gone. Now we have close to real-life graphics that enable a much more immersive gaming experience.
A recent survey from Statistsa suggests that more than a third of UK households (36 per cent) own a latest-generation game console. And this doesn’t include older models of gaming consoles. Gaming is now both easily accessible and highly popular. While it’s difficult to ascertain what the future holds some recent developments provide some insight into how things just might turn out.
Virtual reality is an exciting development and the latest phase of the video gaming story. It’s interesting to see how developers and players alike are embracing the new VR world of heightened realism. A survey of gamers conducted by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers via an interactive timeline on Facebook suggested that 51 per cent, globally, believe that augmented reality/virtual reality is the future of gaming.
There have been questions about virtual reality and its mainstream adoption but the widespread acceptance by gamers is allaying many of those fears. As virtual reality hardware is becoming more commonplace, it’s becoming easier to see the various use cases for the technology.
Game developers are also increasingly moving away from desktop gaming towards mobile gaming, a move that underpins virtual reality gaming. When you consider that these games are not available in a web or desktop versions, Android Emulators like Andy OS bridge the gap between mobile gaming and computer gaming. This is creating a new market where emulators are becoming a necessity for millions of exclusive mobile apps to be played on a desktop.
Online brands such as Facebook are also opening their platform to developers, which opens up a new world of opportunities and experiences to users. These include the ability to play games in real time over a social platform. Facebook is also planning to add chat bots that will allow users to interact with an artificial intelligence as part of their gaming experience.
Augmented and virtual reality is bringing a new dimension to gaming, adding an exciting layer of interaction that is catching on quickly. There is a growing breed of video games, such as Kazooloo, that are designed with a combination of fantasy and reality, and lets developers use environments in new ways to enhance the gaming experience.
Technologies like Oculus Rift, owned by Facebook, are also transforming virtual reality. With the arrival of powerful head-mounted VR devices like those manufactured by Oculus, many feel that true next-generation VR gaming has arrived. Oculus Rift, as well as others, have applications beyond gaming and have the potential to influence the gaming industry for many years to come.
As virtual reality technology continues to advance and video gaming continues to mature, it will be interesting to see how both influence each other. However you look at it, the future is ripe and the road is sure to be rich with innovation and benefits for gamers and developers alike.
What are your thoughts on the VR industry and development? Let us know in the comments.