Over the last 30-or-so years, the biggest challenge for video games has been improving graphics. Looking back at the original PlayStation compared to the latest Playstation 4 Pro, it’s fair to say it’s come a long way.
From the original grand theft auto, a top-down two-dimensional game, to the latest GTA: Five — a complex narrative with motion-tracked characters and cinematic cutaways.
Nowadays, most would probably agree that the graphics on title games are impressive and very realistic.
What will be the video games biggest challenge to retain people for longer periods of time, and open it to an even larger (and more diverse) demographic is to increase both its accessibility, and it’s immersion.
Whether Google’s Stadia (a subscription-based gaming platform) will take off or not is a different question, but it’s certainly attempting to increase the ways in which people can have access to the game.
All that’s needed right now is a semi-decent internet connection and a cheap Google Chromecast device. I believe we’ll see more solutions like this where the barrier to entry isn’t a £400 piece of hardware, but a £14.99 monthly subscription.
The second challenge is a little more difficult — retention.
Many games have turned to online multiplayer to retain users for longer periods of times. Nowadays, instead of a game story mode taking 20 hours to complete, users can get 1000’s of hours out of the title.
Whilst this is great for many gamers, the introduction of both VR and AR into gaming will be revolutionary for the casual gamer once the technology, and associated costs, are reduced.
Recently, Oculus launched the Oculus Quest — a wireless headset that offers a powerful computer internally without the need for a VR Gaming Laptop. This has already been revolutionary for XR developers and will be pivotal for XR to really make an impact on the Gaming industry with low(ish) cost headsets.
Where immersive technology is really powering is when both VR and AR are combined into an XR product. This has already been incredibly impactful within the enterprise space and I predict it to be a major factor in the adoption into Gaming.
That being said, XR Gaming is still a good 5–10 years from really making a dent in the space.