As gaming ebbs and flows, it does so in tandem with technology, leading to bigger and better consoles, games and ideas. We put our own Dan Attlee to the task of looking at the latest tech trends in the gaming universe. Here are ComiConverse’s top five things to look forward to in the world of gaming.
2016 has undoubtedly been the year of virtual reality. We’ve already seen the commercial launch of the HTC Vive, the Oculus Rift has finally had all pre-orders shipped, and Sony’s PlayStation VR is coming in October. There’s a whole host of VR headsets out there. VR was the focus of the Develop 2016 conference. David Raynard, former head of Sony London and now independent VR developer, looked to tackle one of its big criticisms: that it is an isolating experience. He stated that he felt the future of VR was a social one, about being transported to fantastic destinations and doing cool things with friends. Oculus’s head of developer strategy, Anna Sweet, said:
When you get two people together in a virtual space, and you actually get to see how they move and how they talk, and how they interact with the world, it lets you connect as if you were really actually in that room with them. And it’s pretty powerful.
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She recounted a story where two people who had never met, but had spent 10 minutes in a VR space together, were able to recognise each other by the way they moved. Solomon Rogers, co-founder of a VR creative agency called Rewind, told a very similar story in his talk “Consumer Virtual Reality – Hope or Hype?”, describing his ability to recognise another VR player as his wife from her gestures alone.
The Death Of Long Gaming Console Cycles
Perhaps one of the biggest changes seen this year is the implementation of incremental console cycles. While we used to have updated consoles that were slimmer or contained more storage space, these never saw fundamental hardware changes. The Xbox One S, while slimmer that it’s older brother, also supports 4K movies and HDR (High Dynamic Range). Project Scorpio, announced at this year’s E3, will use all six teraflops to support 4k resolutions and VR. Sony also has a new console in the works, codenamed PlayStation Neo. Vlambeer’s Rami Ismail puts the death of long console cycles down to the power of mobile. “If you keep a console for seven years your mobile phone will be more powerful than the console by the end of that cycle.”
A Future With Augmented Reality
Unless you’ve been living in a nuclear bunker for the past month, you’ll know all about Pokemon Go. The game has taken the world by storm, bringing millions of gamers old and new together. This could be the start of something big for the world of augmented reality gaming. In fact, one of the marketing bosses at Niantic, the developer of Pokemon Go, told Gamespot that his dream would be “Westeros mapped out on Earth and [players] to join House Stark, or whatever”.
Game of Thrones Go anyone?
One of Funomena’s upcoming games, Woorld, is described as “a hand-held Alternative Reality experience”, a “whimsical, exploratory application” that lets you place virtual objects against the backdrop of your physical environment.
The game is due out this September.
Specialized Video Gaming Clients
Steam is currently the biggest video game client, and its library is always expanding. However, this also means that there are many games that get lost in the mix. Per ARS, 37% of all steam games go unplayed. Because of this, smaller and more specialized services are becoming increasingly popular. One such service is Itch.io, an “indie game marketplace and DIY game jam host”. it is already popular with the indie scene and offers pay-what-you-want and minimum pricing models. Given that just last year the site dished out $393,000 to indie devs, we can expect other clients to follow Itch’s model.
Johan Geilis’ Superformula
Many of you will have no doubt heard of upcoming universe exploration game No Man’s Sky, which is set to be released this August. What some of you may not know is that it recently came to light that the technology used to created the procedurally generated, 4 quintillion-strong sandbox is, in fact, a superformula created by plant geneticist Johan Geilis. n short, the superformula can be used to describe many complex shapes and curves that are found in nature. You can see a video below which describes it in much more detail.
Here is what Jeroen Sparrow at Genicap, Gielis’ company, had to say. Per Eurogamer:
Genicap is working on a project to create revolutionary software based on the superformula that can be used likewise by indies and the major game studios. Using the superformula to generate natural objects enables you to create endless varied and original objects such as trees, rocks, beaches, planets and mountains. Currently most of this work is still done manually. We are still in the conceptual phase. We expect to be able to tell you more in autumn. It would be great to exchange knowhow with Hello Games. We believe No Man’s Sky is the beginning of a new generation of games. What Hello games did with the formula is very impressive. Johan Gielis, the founder of Genicap and the one who discovered the superformula, is extremely proud.
Could we see this superformula being implemented in games in the future?
If so, the possibilities for its application could be endless.
Which of these new gaming trends has you the most excited?
Have you already start putting money aside?
Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
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