The future of gaming and what you need to know
By: Shell Energy
06 Nov 2020
Whether you’re a hardcore or casual gamer, it’s fair to say that you’ve never had it so good. With the newly released PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, the next few years of gaming are gearing up to be better than ever.
Add in new ways to play games, such as subscription-based services, cross-platform and streaming, and the gaming landscape finds itself in a good position. It’s no surprise that the industry is set to be worth $256.97 billion (around £196 billion) by 2025.
Whether you’re a The Last of Us Part II fan or you prefer Frogger on Apple Arcade, we’ve got the latest insights into the next generation of gaming. So read on, and discover everything you need to know about what the future holds in the world of video games.
What the future of gaming could look like
The future of gaming offers many possibilities as technology evolves, and internet speed for gaming gets faster. Integration will play an even more significant role, especially after the sweeping success of massive-multiplayer online (MMO) games like Fortnite.
We can also expect legacy gaming industry developers like Nintendo to continue innovating the space, offering something different from the expected offerings of Sony and Microsoft. Gaming on the go has picked up in recent years too, with the Nintendo Switch and games on smartphones offering more accessibility.
Cloud gaming looks set to play a more prominent role in the future of gaming. It’s currently in its infancy, but is a natural evolution – with gamers able to play a game on one machine and then use another, easily picking up their game saves through the cloud.
Cross-platform play will also improve. For example, Playstation and Xbox users can currently stream games to a PC, and this trend is set to shape the future of gaming, offering more functionality. Virtual reality (VR) games should also continue to evolve as technology improves.
Future games consoles and their features
In the very short term, the future of gaming looks like a PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, Sony and Microsoft’s next-gen gaming consoles. Console life cycles usually last for around seven years, so we can expect these two next-gen machines to set the benchmark for what follows.
They will offer faster processors, 60 fps frame rates and true 4k graphics (and possibly even 8k in the future). There will also be more backwards compatibility, allowing players to access their old generation games on the new console.
The Xbox Games Pass will likely take on more importance, allowing gamers to pay a subscription fee (much like Netflix) to access the best games around. It’s a natural evolution for the gaming industry, with Netflix CEO Reed Hastings saying, “We compete with (and lose to) Fortnite more than HBO”, referring to the fact that games pose a bigger threat to Netflix than TV services.
A new disruption to gaming?
While the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X will dominate the news over the next few months, they aren’t the only options on the gaming market. Developers are finding ways to innovate the space, offering an alternative to the traditional gaming that we have become so accustomed to.
Google Stadia is a cloud gaming service that is accessible through the Google Chrome web browser and lets you play games through any screen you own. There’s no need for a disc, and gamers can jump straight to the action. Once up and running, you will have access to hundreds of games, such as FIFA and Star Wars: Fallen Jedi.
Apple Arcade is the latest subscription-based gaming service from Apple. For around £5 per month, you can play thousands of mobile games on your smartphone, as well as through an Apple TV. These games tend to appeal more to casual gamers and don’t offer the same power as next-gen consoles. However, for the relatively inexpensive price tag, they’re a handy alternative.
Virtual Reality (VR)
The last few years have seen an increase in VR games, with the Oculus Quest and PlayStation VR some of the options that offer gamers a truly immersive experience. VR gaming is still seen as somewhat of a niche, but it’s growing in popularity, especially as subsets of the genre expand.
Augmented reality (AR) gaming, for example, offers virtual elements that are placed into the player’s real-world and viewed through a headset or camera. Mario Home Circuit, from Nintendo, is a prime example of AR’s increasing influence on the gaming industry.
How will the next generation gaming experience be different?
With each iteration of next-gen gaming, the focus is on enhancement. Speeds are one of the most noticeable differences that gamers will experience in the future. 5G speeds, improved internet connections, and faster services mean that players will enjoy even more seamless experiences.
Internet speeds also play a significant role in the quality of cloud gaming and cross-platform play. So even with these shiny new machines offering incredibly powerful specs, the future gamers will need a speedy internet connection to make the most out of next-generation gaming.
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