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Entertainment & Technology: Inside the Most Innovative Pursuits in Gaming

When it comes to entertainment, technology is now the driving force in innovation. Over the last five years, advances in technology have led to quite a few surprising new trends. From the fad of NFTs like Bored Ape and CryptoKitties to virtual concerts hosted in the metaverse, it seems like there’s an entirely new outlook in entertainment every year.

But there’s no industry quite like gaming when it comes to forays in technology. In fact, of all of entertainment’s popular sectors, none rely on advancing technology quite like the video game sphere. Still, though it’s clear that gaming’s future is tied to tech, not all new trends are easy to predict.

For example, VR has been touted as the most cutting-edge project in the industry—but it’s taken years to slowly evolve even with developers like Sony and HTC working behind the scenes. Despite the fact that gaming pundits have had widespread VR usage on the docket for over a decade, advanced headsets like the Meta Quest 2 and HTC Vive Pro are only now breaking into the market meaningfully. Even so, they’re still too pricey for most households.

On the other hand, one quiet powerhouse in the gaming industry, virtual casinos, has crafted some highly innovative new types of games. For example, casino fans who are shopping around for a bonus on the Oddschecker platform will find some of the world’s top brands—and each offers its own live dealer experience. These table games include a real-life dealer who is live-streamed to the player’s remote device, enabling them to emulate a gaming experience from a brick-and-mortar casino.

When looking at these examples, it’s clear that not all gaming pursuits pan out on the anticipated timeline. Some projects take longer to take shape, while others pop up in some of the industry’s niches seemingly out of nowhere. Looking ahead, let’s explore some of the most unique and innovative ways that the gaming world could evolve, from hardware to AI to crypto.

Accessible Gaming Diversifies

Traditionally, gaming hardware hasn’t been overly accessible for gamers without motor skills. PC gamers rely on a mouse and keyboard; console games stick to handheld controllers; VR players usually need access to hand sensors. However, in the coming decade, it’s likely that more developers will funnel funding into more accessible controller devices.

Already, Sony offers an Access Controller, while Logitech has a full-on adaptive gaming kit that runs on Bluetooth. Clearly, there’s already a solid interest in creating more accessible gaming controls and hardware, but we’ve only grazed the tip of the iceberg when it comes to inclusive gaming.

Virtual Hubs for Global Communities Grow

Metaverses are some of the most unique subjects in the gaming industry. From Decentraland to Roblox, metaverses are designed to let players (or users) design their own worlds, games, NFTs, and more. The goal is simple to create a virtual world in which anything is possible—but entertainment, and gaming, in particular, have remained central to these themes. This is largely because consumers need gaming hardware to access a metaverse, whether a PC or VR.

Over the next decade, it’s likely that these virtual hubs will become truly global communities. Recently, stars from Ariana Grande to John Legend have performed live in metaverses for their fans—and this isn’t likely to change. Fans will continue to use their preferred metaverse to assemble for concerts, shows, competitions, and more.

However, it’s still worth pointing out that before metaverses can become truly mainstream, players need access to high-performance gaming hardware—something that is still largely out of reach for the average gamer. 

AI Takes Center Stage

Like every other topic on this list, AI has already left its influence on the gaming world. At the moment, it’s being used to help generate new levels in games, create more believable non-playing characters, and customize gaming suggestions for subscription packages. But looking ahead, AI is set to take center stage in game development.

First and foremost, AI is set to become more accessible for AAA and indie game developers. Given the meteoric success of multiple indie games (think: Hades, Minecraft, & Stardew Valley), AI will serve as a resource for up-and-coming developers that have small teams and small budgets. AI will be used as a tool to simply the process of creating games from scratch.

Beyond the realm of serving as an indie resource, AI is also slated to be more meaningfully adapted to the in-game experience. This means players can expect AI-based algorithms to tailor certain game modes and settings to their pre-configured needs, from difficulty level to audio preferences to in-game events.

Cross-Everything

At the start of this article, we broke down a few different ways that players game—including consoles, handheld consoles, mobile devices, PCs, VR headsets, and more. At the moment, certain games are available as cross-platform titles. That means that players can access the game on different devices and play with their friends across different devices.

However, cross-platform pursuits are still largely in their infancy. Some games might be available for mobile devices and the Nintendo Switch, but not Xbox or PC. These combinations can take any form, hamstringing players who want to invite friends with different hardware to play. Though many developers are tackling cross-platform ports, gamers will be happy to hear that many analysts expect a future of cross-everything gaming to start to take shape.

Gaming Goes Green

Let’s round off this list by touching on one of the hottest topics in gaming: environmentalism. Worldwide, more companies are looking to adopt ‘greener’ forms of technology that minimize reliance on fossil fuels. However, given the number of energy-zapping servers used by billions of active gamers worldwide, immediate change simply isn’t possible.

So, what’s on the docket for green gaming over the next decade? The idea of slowly moving more servers and data centers to run on green energy is great, but the industry could benefit from an organizing body that’s able to field and aggregate concerns from developers, players, studios, and more. As more environmental watchdog groups turn their attention to the gaming industry, it’s possible giants like Microsoft or Nintendo will launch their own meaningful environmental initiatives.