Addition: Cloud Gaming will be a key accelerator around 2025 once technical milestones are reached which leads to mass adoption
Sharing my thoughts and predictions on what a part of the next 10 years — 2020 decade — could look like for the future of “smartphone” gaming
A lot has to do with smartphone technology (mobile custom silicon and 5G)
2020 Decade Predictions
- Facebook is betting big yet again on hardware — specifically on custom silicon chips for a reason. The future is already mobile and as computing processors have shrunken from mainframe computers to personal PCs to smartphones, mobile custom silicon chips are the future
- History: custom silicon chips connect back to video game consoles defying commodity PC model. PC gaming was bigger than console 1994–1996 until Nintendo 64 launched in 1996 then console gaming became bigger than PC gaming from 1997–2011 — thanks to advanced silicon CPUs/GPUs designed for console gaming
- History: Nintendo 64 ushered in a golden age of advanced 3D graphics, 64-bit gaming, and a whole new world of 3D gaming — Super Mario 64! It was the 1st console to handle 4-player split screen w/ out significant slowdown — thanks to Silicon Graphics, Inc. (SGI) powerfully efficient custom CPU that was based upon its MIPS R4000 family of supercomputing and workstation CPUs, SGI developed a CPU requiring a fraction of the resources — consuming only 0.5 watts of power instead of 1.5 to 2 watts, with an estimated target price of US$40 instead of US$80–200.
- You can see the importance of custom silicon in powering multiplayer entertainment experiences—so w/ that knowledge, I hope you can follow my predictions for the 2020 decade
Smartphone gaming is the future of entertainment and esports but not for the reasons you may think:
- A mod of an existing popular mobile-only game will appear — like how League was born from a Warcraft III mod — and it will redefine mobile esports. Think multiplayer mobile esports combined w/ Pokemon Go craze mass market adoption — a game inherent to only mobile
- This might happen in a popular smartphone game but if not, it will be from smartphone tech (silicon architecture, etc.) because mobile custom silicon will usher in a new generation of Wearable “consoles” just like how the Playstation and Xbox consoles emerged from PC tech
- Mobile Wearable consoles will shift entire gaming market from core digital multiplayer to reality-immersion (digital+physical) multiplayer gaming experiences — mobile will be cheaper, wireless, more power-efficient, with next-generation lithium-sulfur battery tech & more widely adopted — economies of scale 100s of millions of chips vs PC/Console VR — this means PC and Console gaming along with VR will become niche vs mobile wireless all-in-one wearable console gaming grows rapidly due to mass market adoption rates
- Wearable console developers must demand cross-platform play to achieve mass adoption or repeat same Sony, Nintendo, Microsoft console segmentation history that’ll lead to fragmented, niche esports scenes — something mobile esports doesn’t suffer w/ iOS + Android playing together
- Apple, Facebook, Snap will join Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo + whoever else in a Wearables AR, VR, Mixed AR/VR console wars unlike we’ve ever seen — will set stage for massive innovation/growth for leisure economy. Cross-platform play will be heavily resisted due to ecosystem lock
- New generation “PC Bangs” will dramatically decrease barriers to entry for immersive AR/VR multiplayer gaming experiences — this will be a significant social phenomenon not in a one country, but worldwide. It will be like arcades making a return but 10x more popular as a % of total population— the mass penetration rates across the world will help esports actually beat top traditional sports (football, etc.) in AMA viewers on a country per country basis.
- The beginnings of these new generation “PC Bangs” are seen in VR centers such as SandboxVR, The Void VR, etc. Which are helping to revive malls. Ex: China already has 3,000+ VR centers. Reality-immersion mirrors human spatial experiences vs mouse/keyboard, etc. = much more mass-consumer interest
- Apple may emerge victorious — b/c of their insane lead in mobile silicon + deep understanding of human interface design such as spatial consistency — something Apple already thinks deeply about to help touch gestures feel aligned with our spatial understanding of the world
- Esports is a social multiplayer phenomenon. The StarCraft to League esports craze to today’s mobile esports craze, etc. — these are all dress rehearsals for a new culturally significant social identity around multiplayer gaming that’ll go massively global
- These AR/VR Bangs in-person experience of social gaming will construct a new social identity for video game culture worldwide that will lead to mass penetration % of most country’s population — video gaming will have its defining mainstream pop culture inflection point worldwide, a significant part of people’s social life and identity more than it was in the 2010s.
- 5G technology will be developed to a point where ultra low latency along with blazing fast speeds is delivered reliably and consistently — 5G’s power efficiency, speeds, etc. will serve as a huge tech catalyst for mobile wearables the same way broadband internet did for PC gaming’s upgrade from dial-up internet that led to esports
- Cloud Gaming will be the next Cheap Multiplayer Entertainment Paradigm in a post-mobile world — I don’t see anything else able to compete vs smartphones when it comes to delivering cheap multiplayer entertainment to the masses
- This will massively grow the Leisure economy b/c social backgrounds, key technology catalysts, and massive adoption onto a single platform are all coming together yet again but globally — think of StarCraft Korea esports craze replicated but worldwide
- One of the biggest winners from the leisure economy will be digital entertainers — streamers, YTers, TikTokers, etc. A new generation of digital creative entrepreneurs who’ll keep redefining what an artist/creator/entertainer/performer is in an ever-increasing digital multiplayer world w/ D2C audiences/fans
- Look at music industry w/ streaming & D2C as Jimmy Iovine says: “The artists now have something they’ve never had before, which is a massive, direct communication with their audience.” Twitch streamers, YTers, TikTok, Triller, etc. creators — they are digital creators/artists
- 2020 decade’s theme is how everything is just going more leisure, more multiplayer, more digital creators, more entertainment, more esports 😎. The key tech catalysts will be mobile custom silicon + 5G that’ll usher in some amazing, innovative wearable products/experiences
- For example, ray tracing in a mobile game is already possible — which is a big deal for reality-immersion. Smartphones have thermal limits that restrict them — wearable consoles will not have the same thermal restrictions so we can see mobile, custom silicon chips potentially doing some exciting things!
A top smartphone today has more raw computing power that IBM’s Deep Blue super computer of 1997 that cost $100 million. In 10 years time, it will have hundreds more computing power because of custom silicon mobile chips that excel at narrow use cases. #MooresLaw