The video gaming industry clocked $100 billion in revenue last year, and it’s estimated that 2.2 billion people are active gamers. In other facts, More than half of US mobile-phone users play games on their devices, and Minecraft alone has nearly 100 million monthly players. In fact, video gaming already overtook the traditional entertainment industry. This year, the global video games market is estimated to generate US$152.1 billion from 2.5 billion gamers around the world. By comparison, the global box office industry was worth US$41.7 billion while global music revenues reached US$19.1 billion in 2018.
Consider the top blockbuster movie to date, Avengers: Endgame. When it premiered on April 16, it raked in over US$858,373,000 during its opening weekend. It even surpassed last year’s Avengers: Infinity War, which generated US$678,815,482 in gross revenue.
In an example. Activision’s first-person shooter Destiny, released last September, cost $500 million to make. James Cameron, in comparison, could make about two Avatar films with that sort of money. The game natively renders graphics at an eye-popping 1080p high-definition resolution at a speed of 30 frames per second. Today’s best-selling games have some of the best image quality and clarity available of all media available to the average consumer.
But while these films received so much attention and hype from the general public, they failed to outperform the highest-grossing entertainment launch in history, Grand Theft Auto V’s release back in 2013, which earned US$1 billion in just over three days.
The video gaming industry can be classified into three main categories – PC, mobile, and console gaming.
What is a video game?
Let’s see first of first, technically A video game also called computer games or digital games is a computer game designed mainly for home entertainment purposes. A video game console is an electronic machine designed to play the games and a video gaming display such as a computer monitor or television is the primary feedback device. The main input device is a controller. A controller can be a keyboard, mouse, gamepad, joystick, paddle, or any other device designed for gaming that can receive input. Special purpose devices, such as steering wheels for driving games, light guns for shooting games, and drums for musical games may also be used. Learn more in Game-Based Instruction in a College Classroom.
History of Video Games
The First Video Game Ever – Tennis for two by Physicist
Perhaps first-ever video game was introduced In 1952, for instance, British professor A.S. Douglas created OXO, also known as noughts and crosses or tic-tac-toe, as part of his doctoral dissertation at the University of Cambridge. And in 1958, William Higinbotham created Tennis for Two on a large analog computer and connected the oscilloscope screen for the annual visitor’s day at the Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, New York. The game created solely for entertainment rather than to demonstrate the power of some technology, designed by William Higinbotham and built by Robert Dvorak at the Brookhaven National Laboratory in 1958.
Designed to entertain the general public at Brookhaven’s annual series of open houses, the game was deployed on an analog computer with graphics displayed on an oscilloscope and was dismantled in 1959. Higinbotham never considered adapting the successful game into a commercial product, which would have been impractical with the technology of the time. Ultimately, the widespread adoption of computers to play games would have to wait for the machines to spread from serious academics to their students on U.S. college campuses.
In 1967, developers at Sanders Associates, Inc., led by Ralph Baer, invented a prototype multiplayer, a multi-program video game system that could be played on a television. It was known as “The Brown Box.”
Baer, who’s sometimes referred to as Father of Video Gaming, licensed his device to Magnavox, which sold the system to consumers as the Odyssey, the first video game home console, in 1972. Over the next few years, the primitive Odyssey console would commercially fizzle and die out.
Yet, one of the Odyssey’s 28 games was the inspiration for Atari’s Pong, the first arcade video game, which the company released in 1972. In 1975, Atari released a home version of Pong, which was as successful as its arcade counterpart.
The Spacewar by Steve Russell
Before the commercialization of video games from 70’s, Video Games Project conceived by Steve Russell, Martin Graetz, and Wayne Wiitanen in 1961 and programmed primarily by Russell, Saunders, Graetz, Samson, and Dan Edwards in the first half of 1962, Spacewar! was inspired by the science fiction stories of E. E. Smith and depicted a duel between two spaceships, each controlled by a player using a custom-built control box. Immensely popular among students at MIT, Spacewar! spread to the West Coast later in the year when Russell took a job at the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (SAIL), where it enjoyed similar success.
The program subsequently migrated to other locations around the country through the efforts of both former MIT students and DEC itself, more so after cathode ray tube (CRT) terminals started becoming more common at the end of the 1960s.
Well, Commercial video gaming has been around since the early 1970s. The first commercial arcade video game, Computer Space by Nutting Associates, was introduced in 1971. In 1972, Atari introduced Pong to the arcades. An interesting item to note is that Atari was formed by Nolan Bushnell, the man who developed Computer Space. He left Nutting Associates to found Atari, which then produced Pong, the first truly successful commercial arcade video game.
“When the first video games on the market debuted, were blocky and basic, lacking the detail we see in games today”
Pong by atari – The commercial era
That same year, Magnavox offered the first home video game system. Dubbed the Odyssey, it did not even have a microprocessor! The core of the system was a board with about four-dozen transistors and diodes. The Odyssey was very limited — it could only produce very simple graphics and required that custom plastic overlays be taped over the television screen. In 1975, Atari introduced a home version of its popular arcade game, Pong. The original home version of Pong was sold exclusively through Sears, and even carried the Sears logo. Pong was a great hit when it came out. Move your cursor to get the slides to bounce back the moving square — it will speed up as you progress. Pong was a phenomenal success, opening the door to the future of home video games.
Although the Fairchild Channel F, released in 1976, was the first true removable game system, Atari once again had the first such system to be a commercial success. Introduced in 1977 as the Atari Video Computer System (VCS), the 2600 used removable cartridges, allowing a multitude of games to be played using the same hardware.
The hardware in the 2600 was quite sophisticated at the time, although it seems incredibly simple now. It consisted of:
- MOS 6502 microprocessor
- Stella, a custom graphics chip that controlled the synchronization to the TV and all other video processing tasks
- 128 bytes of RAM
- 4-kilobyte ROM-based game cartridges
The chips were attached to a small printed circuit board (PCB) that also connected to the joystick ports, cartridge connector, power supply, and video output. Games consisted of software encoded on ROM chips and housed in plastic cartridges. The ROM was wired on a PCB that had a series of metal contacts along one edge. These contacts seated into a plug on the console’s main board when a cartridge was plugged into the system. When power was supplied to the system, it would sense the presence of the ROM and load the game software into Systems like the Atari 2600, its descendant, the 5200, Coleco’s ColecoVision and Mattel’s IntelliVision helped to generate interest in home video gaming for a few years. But interest began to wane because of the quality of the home product lagged far behind arcade standards. But in 1985, Nintendo introduced the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), and everything changed.
The NES introduced three very important concepts to the video game system industry:
- Using a pad controller instead of a joystick
- Creating authentic reproductions of arcade video games for the home system
- Using the hardware as a loss leader by aggressively pricing it, then making a profit on the games themselves
Nintendo’s strategy paid off, and the NES sparked a revival in the home video game market that continues to thrive and expand even now. No longer were home video game systems looked upon as inferior imitations of arcade machines. New games that would have been impractical to create for commercial systems, such as Legend of Zelda, were developed for the home markets. These games enticed many people who had not thought about buying a home video gaming system before to purchase the NES.
In 1983, Nintendo released the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). At the time, it was a technological and visual powerhouse. Super Mario Bros. was considered the cream of the crop and practical eye candy for most gamers. Hardly anyone could have imagined the progress in video game quality we have made since those early days of home entertainment systems. Today’s gaming systems offer 4K resolution, virtual reality (VR) capabilities, and powerful artificial intelligence (AI) to challenge even the most grizzled gamers. Nintendo continued to develop and introduce new game consoles. Other companies, such as Sega and Sony, created their own home video game systems. Let’s look at the core parts of any current video game system.
The video gaming industry had a few notable milestones in the late 1950s and early 1980s, including:
- 1950 – Claude Shannon lays out the basic guidelines for programming a chess-playing computer in an article, “Programming a Computer for Playing Chess.” That same year both he and Englishman Alan Turing create chess programs.
- 1954 – Programmers at New Mexico’s Los Alamos laboratories, the birthplace of the atomic bomb, develop the first blackjack program on an IBM-701 computer.
- 1955 – The long tradition of military wargaming enters the computer age when the U.S. military designs Hutspiel, in which Red and Blue players (representing NATO and Soviet commanders) wage war.
- 1956 – Arthur Samuel demonstrates his computer checkers program, written on an IBM-701, on national television. Six years later the program defeats a checkers master
- 1957 – Alex Bernstein writes the first complete computer chess program on an IBM-704 computer—a program advanced enough to evaluate four half-moves ahead.
- 1958 – Willy Higinbotham creates a tennis game on an oscilloscope and analog computer for public demonstration at Brookhaven National Laboratory in 1958. Although dismantled two years later and largely forgotten, it anticipated later video games such as Pong.
- 1960 – Computer programmer John Burgeson stays home sick from work at IBM and begins developing a computer baseball simulation. A month later (in January 1961), aided by his brother Paul, John runs this first-known baseball computer program on an IBM 1620 computer.
- 1961 – The Raytheon Company develops a computer simulation of global Cold War conflict for the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff. Although it is sophisticated and even models the benefits of arms control, the simulation proves too complex for users unfamiliar with computers, so Raytheon creates a more accessible analog version called “Grand Strategy.”
- 1962 – MIT student Steve Russell invents Spacewar!, the first computer-based video game. Over the following decade, the game spreads to computers across the country.
- 1963 – months after the Cuban Missile Crisis, the U.S. Defense Department completes a computer war game known as STAGE (Simulation of Total Atomic Global Exchange) which “shows” that the United States would defeat the Soviet Union in a thermonuclear war.
- 1964 – Everyone is a programmer. That’s the creed of Dartmouth’s John Kemeny who creates the computer time-share system and BASIC programming language at Dartmouth. Both make it easy for students to write computer games. Soon, countless games are being created.
- 1965 – A day after Dartmouth defeats Princeton 28–14 in football to win the Ivy League championship, a Dartmouth student programs the first computer football game. Earlier that year, John Kemeny and Keith Bellairs had created the first computer game in BASIC.
- 1966 – While waiting for a colleague at a New York City bus station, Ralph Baer conceives the idea of playing a video game on television. On September 1, he writes down his ideas that become the basis of his development of television video games.
- 1967 – Ralph Baer develops his “Brown Box”, the video game prototype that lets users play tennis and other games.
- 1970 – Minnesota college students Don Rawitsch, Bill Heinemann, and Paul Dillenberger create Oregon Trail, a simulation of pioneers’ westward trek. Originally played on a single teletype machine, Rawitsch later brought the game to the Minnesota Educational Computer Consortium (MECC) which distributed it nationally.
- 1972 – Nolan Bushnell and Al Alcorn of Atari develop an arcade table tennis game. When they test it in Andy Capps Tavern in Sunnyvale, California, it stops working. Why? Because people played it so much it jammed with quarters. Pong, an arcade legend, is born.
- 1974 – Two decades before Doom, Maze Wars introduces the first-person shooter by taking players into a labyrinth of passages made from wire-frame graphics.
- 1975 – Atari introduces its home version of Pong. Atari’s founder, Nolan Bushnell, cannot find any partners in the toy business, so he sells the first units through the Sears Roebuck sporting goods department.
- 1979 – Toy-maker Mattel supplements its handheld electronic games with a new console, the Intellivision. Intellivision has better graphics and more sophisticated controls than Atari 2600, and players love its sports games. Mattel sells three million Intellivision units.
- 1980 – A missing slice of pizza inspires Namco’s Toru Iwatani to create Pac-Man, which goes on sale in July 1980. That year a version of Pac-Man for Atari 2600 becomes the first arcade hit to appear on a home console. Two years later, Ms. Pac-Man strikes a blow for gender equality by becoming the best-selling arcade game of all time.
- 1981 – Video gaming fans go ape over Nintendo’s Donkey Kong, featuring a character that would become world-famous: Jumpman. Never heard of him? That’s because he’s better known as Mario—the name he took when his creator, Shigeru Miyamoto, makes him the star of a later game by Nintendo.
- 1982 – Disney taps into the video game craze by releasing the movie Tron. An arcade game featuring many of the contests from the movie also becomes a hit.
- 1986 – The emerging educational software market leaps ahead with the introduction of The Learning Company’s Reader Rabbit program. The educational computer business mushrooms with the introduction of CD-ROMs in the 1990s, but crashes with the rise of the Internet.
- 1987 – It’s a good year for fantasy Role Playing Games, as Shigeru Miyamoto creates Legend of Zelda, SSI wins the video gaming license for Dungeons and Dragons, and Sierra’s Leisure Suit Larry gives players a different kind of adult role-playing game.
- 1988 – John Madden Football introduces gridiron realism to computer games, making this game—and its many console sequels—perennial best-sellers.
- 1990 – Microsoft bundles a video game version of the classic card game solitaire with Windows 3.0. Millions of users who would not normally pick up a game console find they enjoy playing computer games. Solitaire becomes one of the most popular electronic games ever and provides a gaming model for quick, easy-to-play, casual games like Bejeweled.
- 1991 – Sega needs an iconic hero for its Genesis (known as Mega Drive in Japan) system and finds it in Sonic the Hedgehog. Gamers, especially in the United States, snap up Sega systems and love the little blue guy’s blazing speed and edgy attitude.
- 1993 – Concern about bloodshed in games such as Mortal Kombat prompts United States Senate hearings on video game violence. The controversy riles the industry and prompts the creation of a video game rating system. Ironically, that same year the game Doom popularizes “first-person shooters.”
- 1994 – Blizzard releases Warcraft: Orcs and Humans, a real-time strategy game that introduces millions of players to the legendary world of Azeroth.
- 1995 – Sony releases PlayStation in the United States, selling for $100 less than Sega Saturn. The lower price point, along with the arrival of Nintendo 64 in 1996, weakens Sega’s home console business. When Sony PlayStation 2 debuts in 2000, it becomes the dominant home console and Sega exits the home console business.
- 1996 – Lara Croft debuts as the star of Eidos’s adventure game Tomb Raider. Players love her, but critics charge that she’s an example of sexism in video games.
- 1997 – Machine triumphs over a man as IBM’s supercomputer chess program Deep Blue defeats world champion, Gary Kasparov, in a match.
- 2001 – Microsoft enters the video game market with Xbox and hit games like Halo: Combat Evolved. Four years later, Xbox 360 gains millions of fans with its advanced graphics and seamless online play.
- 2003 – Valve energizes PC gaming with its release of Steam. The digital distribution platform allows players to download, play, and update games.
- 2005 – Microsoft’s Xbox 360 brings high-definition realism to the game market, as well as even better multiplayer competitions on Xbox Live and popular titles such as Alan Wake.
- 2009 – Social games like Farmville and mobile games like Angry Birds shake up the games industry. Millions of people who never would have considered themselves gamers now while away hours playing games on new platforms like Facebook and the iPhone.
- 2011 – Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure becomes the first augmented-reality hit by letting players place plastic figures on a Portal of Power to zap characters into the game. Two years later Disney Infinity joins the ranks of toy-video game hybrids.
- 2015 – One year after being acquired by Amazon, online video game streaming service Twitch fuels the growth of eSports. Thirty-six million viewers watch the League of Legends World Championship, rivaling and surpassing viewership of some of the most popular athletic events in the world.
- 2016 – Players hunt for virtual creatures like Pikachu and Horsea in the real world with Niantic’s free-to-play hit Pokémon Go. It’s the gaming sensation of the summer, and commenters debate whether it’s just a fad or represents a bright future for augmented reality.
- 2017 – Nintendo’s Switch introduces the first hybrid mobile/home video gaming console into a game market dominated by smartphones and tablets. The innovative system allows players to take hit games like Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey with them wherever they go.
Introduction of A Video Game Console
At its core, a video game console is a highly specialized computer. In fact, most systems are based on the same central processing units (CPUs) used in many desktop computers. To keep the cost of the video game system within reasonable limits, most manufacturers use a CPU that has been widely available for long enough to undergo a significant decrease in cost.
Why would people buy a game console instead of a computer? There are several reasons:
- A video game console is less expensive than a tricked-out computer designed to run video games. Current generation consoles cost between $200 to $500, whereas a fully-loaded gaming computer can cost more than $10,000.
- Consoles tend to load games faster than most PCs — expensive gaming computer rigs are the exception, of course.
- Video game systems are designed to be part of your entertainment system. This means that they are easy to connect to your TV and stereo.
- There are no compatibility issues, such as operating system, DirectX drivers, correct audio card, supported game controller, resolution and so on.
- Game developers know exactly what components are in each system, so games are written to take full advantage of the hardware.
- The degree of technical knowledge required to set up and use it is much lower. Most game consoles are truly “plug and play.”
- Most video gaming systems have games that allow multiple players. This is a difficult process with a typical home computer.
Inside Game Systems
The basic pieces really haven’t changed that much since the birth of the Atari 2600. Here’s a list of the core components that all video game systems have in common:
- User control interface
- Software kernel
- The storage medium for games
- Video output
- Audio output
- Power supply
The user control interface allows the player to interact with the video game. Without it, a video gaming would be a passive medium, like cable TV. Early game systems used paddles or joysticks, but most systems today use sophisticated controllers with a variety of buttons and special features.
Ever since the early days of the Atari 2600, video game systems have relied on RAM to provide temporary storage of games as they’re being played. Without RAM, even the fastest CPU could not provide the necessary speed for an interactive gaming experience.
The software kernel is the console’s operating system. It provides the interface between the various pieces of hardware, allowing the video game programmers to write code using common software libraries and tools.
The two most common storage technologies used for video games today are CD and ROM-based cartridges. Current systems also offer some type of solid-state memory cards for storing saved games and personal information. Systems like the PlayStation 2 have DVD drives. The PlayStation 3 goes even farther — it has a Blu-ray DVD drive.
Microsoft, a rival to Sony, attempted to outmaneuver the PS3’s Blu-ray drive with an HD-DVD drive designed for the Xbox 360. Unfortunately for Microsoft, they backed the wrong horse: the HD-DVD format fizzled in early 2008.
All game consoles provide a video signal that is compatible with the television. Depending on your country, this may be NTSC, PAL or possibly even SECAM. The Xbox 360 and PS3 support HDMI cables. Those two and the Nintendo Wii support composite, component and S-video connections. Most consoles have a dedicated graphics processor that provides specialized mapping, texturing and geometric functions, in addition to controlling video output. Another dedicated chip typically handles the audio processing chores and outputs stereo sound or, in some cases, digital surround sound!
In the next section, you’ll learn a bit about the games you can play on these systems.
Video Gaming Software
The software used on these dedicated computer systems has evolved amazingly from the simple rectangular blips used in Pong. Games today feature richly textured, full-color graphics, awesome sound and complex interaction between player and system. The increased storage capacity of the cartridges and discs allows game developers to include incredibly detailed graphics and CD-quality soundtracks. Several of the video gaming systems have built-in special effects that add features like unique lighting or texture mapping in real-time.
There is a huge variety of games available. Here are just a few of the games you can play on the most popular consoles:
Types of Video Game Systems
Just like the world of computers, video game systems are constantly getting better. New technology developed specifically for video game systems is being coupled with other new technologies, such as DVD.
So how do the big three match up against each other? Let’s take a look at each system based on specific criteria. We’ll start with processors.
The PlayStation 3 uses a Cell processor. Developed by Toshiba and IBM specifically for the game system, the concept behind this processor was to create a chip that acted as a biological cell in an organism. It’s distributed computing on a single chip. Cell processors can cooperate with each other, making it possible to create virtual supercomputers by linking multiple cell processors together.
The Xbox 360‘s processor is a customized Power-PC based CPU from IBM. It has three symmetrical cores that run at 3.2 gigahertz (GHz) each. This processor has a lot of horsepowers, but it lacks the Cell architecture of the PlayStation 3 design.
The Nintendo Wii’s processor isn’t quite as impressive. It’s an IBM Broadway 729 megahertz (MHz) processor. While the chip isn’t in the same league as its competitors, Nintendo executives say the processor is more than powerful enough to provide a fun gaming experience.
PlayStation vs Xbox vs Nintendo (switch)
|Online Services||PlayStation 4||Xbox One||Switch|
|Online Game Play||Paid Access Via PS+ Subscription||Paid Access Via Xbox Live Gold Subscription||Paid Access Via Switch Online Service (excluding select free online games)|
|Streaming Game Services||PlayStation Now||None||None|
|Netflix||Free Access to Application||Paid Access to Application Via Xbox Live Gold Subscription*||No|
|Skype||Possible||Paid Access to Application Via Xbox Live Gold Subscription||No|
|Hulu Plus||Free Access to Application||Paid Access to Application Via Xbox Live Gold Subscription||No|
|Game DVR||Free Access to Application||Paid Access to Application Via Xbox Live Gold Subscription||No|
|Streaming Game Video||Free Access to Application||TBA||No|
|Web Browser||Yes||Paid Access to Application Via Xbox Live Gold Subscription||No|
|NFL Application||None||Paid Access to Application Via Xbox Live Gold Subscription||No|
Next, let’s look at the graphics. The PlayStation 3 uses an RSX graphics processing unit (GPU) that runs at 550 MHz. The Xbox 360 has a 500 MHz ATI GPU. The ATI Hollywood 243 MHz card powers the graphics for Nintendo Wii. The PlayStation has the edge on the specs, though some gamers say they feel that the Xbox makes better use of its capabilities than the PlayStation. Meanwhile, Nintendo claims that the company wants to focus more on making games fun and less on beefing up graphics.
Audio is a similar story. The PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 can provide Dolby surround sound. The Nintendo Wii can produce stereo sound and simulate surround sound, but again its specs fall short of the other two.
All three systems can connect to the Internet. Microsoft’s Xbox Live service is arguably the strongest presence in console Internet gaming, but Sony is trying to change that. Nintendo made loyal fans very happy when it announced gamers would be able to purchase and download many classic games to the Wii system. All three companies are also exploring social networking applications through these video gaming systems.
The PlayStation 3 is also a Blu-ray DVD player, which might give it the edge over the other two consoles. For people who want a Blu-ray player and a game system, the PlayStation 3 is a tempting choice. Before the end of the high-definition disc wars, Microsoft released an external HD-DVD drive that users could connect to its Xbox 360 console but discontinued production in February 2008 after the HD-DVD format gave up the ghost.
For hardcore gamers, the choice usually boils down to either the PlayStation 3 or the Xbox 360. While the specs seem to favor Sony’s console, other considerations like game libraries and online play can lure gamers to Microsoft. Some gamers like to look at backward compatibility — can the new systems play the games designed for older systems? The PS3 can play some games designed for the original PlayStation but not PS2 titles. The Xbox 360 can play most Xbox games but there may be compatibility issues with some games.
The Nintendo Wii is a different beast entirely. It appeals to casual gamers — people who aren’t necessarily interested in devoting hours of time to hone their skills and become gaming masters. Hardcore gamers can enjoy Wii games too. While the 360 and PS3 satiate gamers’ bloodlust, the Wii seems to have a more broad appeal.
Which video game console will reign supreme? Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo all claim that their respective console will sell the most units. But no matter which company comes out on top, it’s safe to say that all gamers are winners.
On the next page, we’ll take a look at some interesting facts about video game consoles.
The gaming industry inspires innovation by constantly pushing the boundaries of what’s possible, driving companies like Google and Microsoft to create new technology to serve the billions of gamers around the world. In fact, according to Microsoft, there are more than two billion gamers around the world. This number includes everyone from those playing free games on their phones to those using a state-of-the-art computer fitted with the latest hardware. And the gaming market is only growing.
Video gaming Technology in the present-day
1. Facial Recognition
3D scanning and facial recognition software technology allow systems to actually create your likeness in the gaming world (so you can create a custom avatar that looks just like you), or to inventively transfer your own expressions to other digital creations. On top of that, the Intel® RealSense™ 3D camera could allow developers to create games that adapt to the emotions of the gamer by scanning 78 different points on a person’s face. For example, a few grimaces at your game screen means the system would dial down the game’s difficulty instantly.
2. Voice Recognition
Too lazy to pick up that controller? No problem! Voice-controlled gaming has been around for a while, but the potential of using the technology in gaming systems has finally caught up to reality—computers are now able to easily recognize voice commands from the user. Not only can you turn the console on and off using this tech, but you can also use voice commands to control gameplay, interact on social media, play selections from your media library, or search the web, all by simply talking to your gaming system.
3. Gesture Control
Or, get rid of your controller altogether! Intel RealSense technology allows you to play first-person shooter games—or simply interact with your device—with just a few waves of your hand. Using a 3D camera that tracks 22 separate points in your hand, gesture control allows users to connect with their gaming experience by using the natural movements of your body. For example, the game Warrior Wave employs RealSense technology so you can use your hand (the outline of which shows up on the screen) to lead a group of Ancient Greek soldiers to safety.
4. Amazing Graphics
We’ve come a long way from the days of basic 8-bit graphics in gaming. Cutting edge advancements now allow gamers to experience games in fully rendered worlds with photorealistic textures. The ability to increase playability with higher image quality makes it seem like you’re right inside the game.
5. High-Def Displays
With gaming graphics this good, you need to have a bona fide way to show them off. Enter Ultra 4K gaming. Though televisions with 4K capabilities (meaning it must support at least 4,000 pixels) or 4K laptops (like the Intel-powered Lenovo Y50) started out at thousands of dollars, their price points have steadily declined, making this format the eventual standard in the way we watch the games we play. With unbeatable colors and crispness, there’s nothing else that can come close. And you thought 1080p looked good…
6. Wearable Gaming
Whether it’s smartwatches or glasses, wearable games make gaming portable without being too invasive. Companies that started by using wearable technology for fitness applications are now aiming to incorporate entertainment into the mix as well. Wearables aren’t only extensions of your body, but also extensions of the gaming consoles you know and love.
7. Mobile Gaming
With the advent of smartphones, the gaming experience has been taken out of the arcade and the living room and put into the palm of your hand. As evidenced by the countless people on your morning train commute huddled over games on their devices, mobile technology has made the love of digital gaming spread beyond hardcore console-consumers and online gamers.
What is the Future of Video Gaming?
By 2022, experts forecast the gaming industry will produce $196 billion in revenue. It’s no wonder then that tech giants like Apple and Google are trying to cash in by launching gaming streaming services. But it’s not just giant companies looking to make money off of gaming. As the global culture around video games continues to change, it has given rise to a new way for people to make money.
Gamers broadcasting from their basements draw huge audiences that make us question what it means to be a professional. Tyler “Ninja” Blevins has redefined pro gaming, earning as much as $500,000 a month during the height of his popularity. Video games have even challenged the definition of sports, as we watch teenage competitors become more popular than professional athletes.
The future of video games is in the cloud!
It seems inevitable by now, that the future of video games will bring forth the cloud as the most important aspect in the gaming world as a whole. When that will happen remains to be seen, hopefully, it is sooner rather than later! Why is it such a big deal to have your games in the cloud? It is the ability to play your games anywhere, at any time, that is so incredibly charming! Boot up a video gaming on your TV, save, and continue on your mobile or laptop away from home! At some point in time, there will be little to no difference between platforms, with most games being playable on every platform imaginable!
This is the future of video games, and there is everything to be excited about! Not only will you be able to play virtually anywhere, but you will also be able to stream your games with ease, as anyone with access to your cloud will be able to watch you play! There is an array of cloud gaming services already available, however, none of them have hit the mainstream due to a lack of functionality. As technology keeps improving, the cloud services will follow and take over the world of gaming!
Graphics has always been a point of focus in game development, therefore, it is no surprise that the future of video games promises to have even more realistic graphics! The graphics have come a very long way over the last decade, however, they are not quite perfect yet! Firing up a game in 4K graphics today is an awe-inspiring experience and it is hard to believe how stunning the environments and the characters look. 4K does not seem to be satisfactory to the game developers though, as what was considered as a revolution in graphics is said to soon be replaced by 8K! Combining 8K graphics with increasingly more powerful game engines, we may come to a time when video gaming worlds and real-life are hard to differentiate!
The future of video games is sure to have a step up in realism and working out the way that hair looks in games is one of the main points of focus! No matter how realistic characters and animals in gaming have looked to date, their hair has always caused major issues. It looks more like plastic than hair, often staying motionless while the character is moving. This has seen improvements lately but is yet to be completely worked out. Sure enough, the hair in gaming will look as lifelike as everything else does, it is only a matter of time. The future of video games looks to be as bright as ever at least as far as graphics are concerned!
Virtual reality has gathered a lot of hype when it first came into prominence a few years ago, however, it never really take-off. Yet! There was a lack of virtual reality video games and those that were there left a lot to be desired. Couple that up with a price-tag that definitely was not for everyone and it is easy to see why virtual reality gaming never hit the mainstream. The times are changing though, and VR has all the qualities needed to be the future of video games!
Virtual Reality allows for a level of immersion that cannot be paralleled by any other form of gaming, sending the player into a different world, hence the straightforward name. It does have the ability to provide an otherworldly experience and is now becoming increasingly more affordable, with the technology improving every day! Eventually, VR will become everything we initially expected out of it when the talks first began – plenty of games, all of them working without any disturbance! Multiple video game developers already acknowledged the fact that VR is the future of video gaming, with incredibly popular games such as Skyrim, Batman: Arkham, Fallout 4, and Doom getting their own VR versions, ensuring that the experiences are going to be there for every owner of a VR set! There is plenty to be excited about in the years to come!
If the virtual world isn’t your thing, why not try out some games on ours? Not confined to a TV or computer monitor, AR games allow for a perspective unique to the gamer. They maneuver spaces within the real world and make the object of the game applicable to real-life situations. For example, play table hockey on your kitchen counter from any angle, or partake in some puzzles mapped out via obstacles in your backyard.
Augmented reality is bridging the gap between the users and game developers. This technology has gone beyond face filters and widely adopted by the organization to provide the user with the ultimate gaming experience. It incorporates advanced features which make games extremely addictive and leverage developers while encouraging them to enhance their skills. The rapid growth of augmented reality game development helps in developing engaging games and grow the overall gaming market.
Augmented reality is the integration of game visual and audio content with a user environment in real-time, unlike virtual reality which creates completely an artificial environment. Augmented reality in the gaming industry uses the existing environment and creates a playing field within it. AR games can be played on smartphones, tablets, and portable gaming systems. It is the integration of digital information and overlays new information on top of it.
The first commercial application of AR technology was the yellow “first down” line that began appearing in the football games in 1998.
AR technology in the gaming industry provides an interactive experience of a real-world environment where the objects that reside in the real world are augmented. This revolutionary technology makes a greater impact on gaming while covering other industries like healthcare, e-commerce, retail, marketing, education, military, automotive and much more. This advanced technology is rapidly changing the way the gaming industry works and contributing a lot towards it.
On-Demand Video Games
Streaming video games is a massively popular phenomenon nowadays and it keeps on growing every day! Twitch.tv, by far the most popular video game service in the world, has announced to have as many as 1.29 million concurrent viewers on average during 2019 so far! It is a 21% increase from 1.07 million in 2018, leaving no doubt that the future of video games is closely linked with streaming.
Streamers are now becoming international superstars and are earning a living just by entertaining their viewers. If platforms such as Twitch continue on growing throughout the years to come, it is inevitable, that more people will be watching video games than playing them! This is increasingly evident with esports as well, since major events are garnering incredible viewing numbers! After all, many major sports such as basketball or football have more people watching them than playing them, there is no reason why that can’t be the case in the future of video games!
No matter how awesome it would be to have a magical ball that would show the future, such a thing does not exist, at least not yet. Therefore, this look into what the future might hold for the world of gaming is purely speculative and some of the things mentioned above may not necessarily come to fruition. However, all the signs are there for such things as VR, clouds and improving graphics to be the future of video games and if that is indeed the case, there is plenty to look forward to!
“Professional gamers will soon be battling pro athletes not just in virtual and IRL stadiums, but in business and entertainment, too.—Jeremy lin”
Esports Gaming – The New Age Sports
Gone are the days when gaming was just an activity to pass the time. The rise of e-sports has drastically changed the picture, growing the gaming culture from a niche community to what is now a spectator sport that brings in different profit-generating channels from merchandising to live events, sports streaming services, online advertising, and even brand endorsements. It has become an international phenomenon, literally taking the game to the center stage with a much larger global audience.
Esports revenue is expected to surpass $1 billion for the first time this year, according to NewZoo. To give you an idea of the money someone can make, the prize pool for Fortnite alone in the 2018-2019 season is $100 million. In the NBA, the average player makes $7.4 million a year and only 15 players in the league earn more than $25 million a year. Compare that to this year’s Dota 2 International, where the prize pool was the same amount—$25.5 million. That gets split across the winning teams and their players, but it’s still pretty legit.
Although e-sports is now a billion-dollar industry, not many mass media companies have been covering its growth and expansion. Nonetheless, there is no question that e-sports is largely contributing to the exponential growth of the video game industry, silently taking over the entertainment world.
Gaming is also transforming pop culture and redefining the ways that young people consume entertainment. In fact, vintage video games now command the sort of cultural currency and influence once reserved for classic films, perhaps the clearest sign that video gaming is now an essential form of entertainment.
The barrier to entry for esports is also so much lower than pro sports. You don’t need to wait for open-hours at your YMCA gym and hope that enough people show up and pay their membership to shoot some hoops. You don’t need another nine people in the same place at the same time with the same skillset—you don’t even have to wait until the sun’s up at the local park or stop playing when it goes down.
Esports is, therefore, democratizing entertainment. It’s free, and all you need is a good internet connection to play. Mobile gaming was a game-changer for this accessibility: You don’t need an expensive console to play anymore, and some of the best games are literally in your hand.
A few of the highest and most prestigious e-sport competitions today are Dota 2, Fortnite, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, League of Legends, StarCraft II, and Overwatch. With its growing popularity, e-sports have raised casual gaming into a professional and competitive game of skills, strategy, and team play.
Today, being a professional gamer can be a lucrative career as numerous competitions are being organized in different parts of the world and tens of thousands to millions of dollars being given away as prizes. The prize pool for the most recent Dota 2 tournament, for example, reached over US$34 million.
Many experts believe that the rise of mobile technology and mobile gaming signals the end of traditional console gaming. Even though Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft command the lion’s share of video game industry proceeds, mobile gaming has been catching up. In 2018, Electronic Arts, one of the world’s biggest video gaming companies, purchased cloud streaming technology created by the game rental company GameFly. Older generations of gamers have traditionally associated gaming with a stand-alone console in their house, but for younger consumers, games are thought of as mobile-first. For manufacturers, this has upsides and downsides. For one, sales of pricier consoles and games is trending down. However, mobile-first games and cloud-based gaming will result in continual revenue in the form of in-game purchases and subscription models such as “battle-passes.”
Video gaming has come a long way since the early days of pixelated characters and low-resolution boss fights. Gamers are experiencing entertainment in whole new ways, often directly in the role of the characters they used to idolize. It remains to be seen where video game technology is headed, but if current trends are any indicator, we may be at the forefront of a whole new world of completely immersive entertainment.
These advances could signify an amazing new chapter for gaming — especially if combined with VR, as they could allow games to interact with characters within games, who would be able to respond to questions and commands, with intelligent and seemingly natural responses. In the world of first-person shooters, sports games and strategy games, players could effectively command the computer to complete in-game tasks, as the computer would be able to understand commands through a headset due to advances in voice recognition accuracy.
Cool Video Gaming Facts
- The Sega Dreamcast was the first console to implement online play over a phone line, calling the system Sega Net.
- The Microsoft Xbox was the first video gaming system to provide full support for HDTV.
- Popular Science recognized the Sega Dreamcast as one of the most important and innovative products of 1999.
- The Magnavox Odyssey, released in 1972, contained 40 transistors and no microprocessor. The Pentium 4 microprocessor contains 42 million transistors on the chip itself!
- The PlayStation 2 was the first system to have graphics capability better than that of the leading-edge personal computer at the time of its release.
- The Nintendo N64 marked the first time that computer graphics workstation manufacturer Silicon Graphics Inc. (SGI) developed game hardware technology.
- While the original Atari Football game was first created in 1973, it wasn’t released until 1978. It was delayed because the game couldn’t scroll the screen — players couldn’t move beyond the area shown on the monitor. When the game was finally released, it became the first game to utilize scrolling, a key part of many games today.
- The Atari Pong video gaming console was the No. 1 selling item for the holiday season in 1975.
- The first console to have games available in the form of add-on cartridges was the Fairchild Channel F console, introduced in August 1976.
- The PlayStation 2 was the first video game system to use DVD technology.
- On the original Magnavox Odyssey, players had to keep score themselves because the machine couldn’t.
- The Nintendo GameCube’s proprietary disc held 1.5 gigabytes of data — 190 times more than what an N64 game cartridge could hold.
- On the market from 1991 till 2004, the SNK NeoGeo AES has tied the Atari 2600 (1977-1990) as the longest supported gaming console in history.
- The Sega Genesis featured a version of the same Motorola processor that powered the original Apple Macintosh computer.
- Mattel’s Intellivison system, introduced in 1980, featured an add-on called “PlayCable,” which delivered games by cable TV.
- Nintendo’s Game Boy was the most successful game system ever, with more than 100 million units sold worldwide.
- The word atari comes from the ancient Japanese game of Go and means “you are about to be engulfed.” Technically, it is the word used by a player to inform his opponent that he is about to lose, similar to “check” in chess.
- In the 1980s, a service called Gameline allowed users to download games to the Atari 2600 over regular phone lines. It was not a success but did form part of the foundation for America Online, the world’s largest Internet service provider.
- The first color portable video game system was the Atari Lynx, introduced in 1989 and priced at $149.
- Introduced in 1993, the 3DO was the first video gaming system to be based entirely on CD technology.
- The Sony PlayStation was originally intended as a CD add-on to the Super Nintendo. When licensing problems and other issues arose, Sony decided to develop the PlayStation as a machine of its own.
- As per the latest reports published on CBS, senior citizen video gamers are growing by the millions nowadays!
Conclusion: If the changes that have occurred over the last century are anything to go by, it appears that gaming in 2025 will be almost unrecognizable to how it is today. Although Angry Birds has been a household name since its release in 2011, it is unlikely to be remembered as fondly as Space Invaders or Pong. Throughout its progression, gaming has seen multiple trends wane and tide, then be totally replaced by another technology. The next chapter for gaming is still unclear, but whatever happens, it is sure to be entertaining.
Information Source: Wikipedia, History, MusefumofPlay