Gaming has always been big business, with industry revenue continuously growing every year. According to SuperData’s year-end report, the industry managed to earn more than $120 billion dollars in 2019 – 4% more than the $115.5 billion in 2018.
One big reason for the gaming industry’s success lies in its constant innovation. From haptic touch to backward compatibility, here are some of the things to look forward to in the coming months.
Much like how we subscribe to Netflix and Spotify to access their library of content, gaming has been offering the same feature. While there’s still novelty in buying your own digital or physical copy, the fact of the matter is that paying for monthly subscriptions is generally cheaper in the long run. Streaming services like Xbox Live and GeForce Now have existed for years, and with the recent release of Google Stadia and Apple Arcade, we can start to see subscriptions coming to mobile as well.
Virtual Reality (VR) is nothing new in the industry. But every year, it manages to take the immersion experience to new heights. Last year, HP noted how numerous VR-remade games created entirely custom settings for their virtual titles, which allowed for a more unique experience. Skyrim VR, for example, had new options like “physical sneaking,” “realistic swimming,” and “realistic bow aiming,” which made its gameplay surprisingly intuitive.
This year, companies are looking into combining VR with haptic technology – or sensory experiences that enhance gameplay. At this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES), BHaptics presented their prototype for a wireless full-body haptic suit. Called the TactSuit, this wearable allows gamers to experience the vibrations, movements, and sound effects of the game as if they’re a part of it. They even had a demo for Sairento VR – a first-person shooter combat game for the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift.
Remakes and Remasters
The world of gaming always pushes forward. But advancements in technology mean that some of our favorite games are no longer playable on newer consoles. Fortunately, with the recent announcement for Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX and the near-release of Final Fantasy VII Remake, 2020 is bringing back a lot of our beloved characters in HD. Other games to look forward to this year include Resident Evil 3 Remake, System Shock Remastered, XIII Remake, Battletoads Remake, Command and Conquer, Bayonetta, Vanquish, and more.
2020 is an exciting year for console gaming, as Sony and Microsoft gear up to release their next generation of consoles in the coming months. And while the prospect of better graphics and hardware is enough for gamers to fall in line, the two tech powerhouses are both doing something that nobody has done since the Nintendo Wii U and 3DS: full backward compatibility. That’s right; the Xbox Series X has access to four generations of gaming, which means everything from the original Xbox down to Xbox One are all playable on Xbox Series X. Sony promises the same features for the PS5, but it’ll only be backward-compatible with PS4 games. Regardless, this means that no game becomes truly obsolete. Or at least, not for another decade.
Games have always been at the forefront of technological innovation, and these trends signify yet another forward step in gaming history.