The Amazing Technology Shaping the Online Gaming Industry
Online gaming technology is growing in leaps and bounds. What was once constituted by rudimentary arcade games like Pac Man, Space Invaders, and Tanks is now a multibillion-dollar industry with tentacles reaching far and wide. The erstwhile paradigm – console games (Sony PlayStation, Nintendo Wii, Microsoft Xbox) has given way to virtual reality, augmented reality, and cloud-based games. Such are the dramatic advances in gaming technology that the sky is now the proverbial limit. Tectonic shifts continue to take place in game design, game development, and gaming platforms, with the requisite hardware and software to boot.
For many players, it’s all about immersion, realism, and surrealism. These seemingly contradictory realities make the ordinary extraordinary and that’s precisely what online gamers are seeking. To better explore these dramatic advances in technology, VR, AR, and cloud-based games must be examined. Our fascinating study begins with virtual reality and the limitless potential it offers gamers. VR is nothing new, but the software that brings it to players and the developments that are now available are mind-boggling. Back in the day – the 1990s – virtual reality capabilities were limited. The software and hardware needed to create the virtual reality players dreamed of was unavailable. The result was less than desirable and the concept fell flat. Fast forward 20 years and things look very different. Today’s VR technology – thanks to the release of HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Samsung VR, and PlayStation VR – has phenomenal capabilities.
The concept of virtual reality has fascinated players since inception. Virtual reality, or VR is an artificial gaming environment which uses three-dimensional graphics to create a realistic milieu. This computer-generated reality suspends disbelief and allows the user to operate within the virtual reality environment. In other words, the player believes that the VR world is real and acts accordingly. Touchscreens, keys and a mouse are typically used in creating a virtual reality world, but it’s the wraparound displays and sensory attachments that provide additional tactile elements to confuse our sensory receptors. The net effect is a feeling of euphoria, engagement, and oneness with the artificial reality. Virtual reality gaming is separate from augmented reality gaming in a big way. Those who seek to step outside of the bounds of reality into a world of fully immersive 3D software will relish the prospect of virtual reality entertainment.
What Is Augmented Reality Gaming?
Augmented reality is perhaps best described as a combination of real-world elements and integrated digital content. A classic example of augmented reality in action is the global phenomenon known as Pokémon GO. In this augmented reality, players make use of the real world environment, and not a separate room, or a pair of goggles where the illusory world (virtual world) exists. Augmented reality does not require a virtual reality headset, since it takes place in the real world, but use of hardware devices such as a smartphone or tablet are needed. Consider augmented reality as a juxtaposition of digital creations on real-world elements.
There are many such examples of this, including animated characters jumping off real-world monuments, structures, tenements, or vehicles. To see augmented reality in action, a user would hold a smartphone or tablet up against objects which really do exist, and watch the virtual characters interacting with reality through the screen. Many augmented reality programs are location-based, as the programmers use the cityscape and design of reality to incorporate within the augmented reality world. Our fascination with augmented reality is growing greater by the day. Significant developments are taking place in augmented reality gaming, with Pokémon GO serving as the benchmark against which new games are being developed.
What Is Cloud Gaming?
It’s up in the clouds! The cloud is an alternative ‘universe’ where games are played. Rather than playing on a PC’s server, or a gaming DVD, games can be played in the cloud so to speak. To put it simply, online gaming is cloud gaming. With cloud gaming, players are not required to frequent a game store such as GameStop, Walmart, Target, or Best Buy. That means that no commutes, no waiting in line, and no expensive hardware to play games which require increasingly powerful computing systems. More importantly, there aren’t any lengthy downloads needed with cloud-based games so you can simply power up and start playing right off the bat. Cloud games allow players to instantly play any games they want on PC, Mac, or TV. All players connected to the cloud-based servers have instant access to their favorite games 24/7 – it’s that easy.
The Future of Online Casinos
Online casinos are enjoying increasing adoption across the United States, with New Jersey, Delaware, Nevada and Pennsylvania already regulating online gambling activity. More is set to come this year in 2019 with several other states lining up potential regulation for online players. Virtual casinos have made dramatic advances since inception in the early 1990s. For example, rudimentary games with dial-up Internet peppered the scene in the early days, but today fully interactive, animated slots games with HD audio-visuals and 3G, 4G and Wi-Fi Internet connectivity are the norm. That in itself is astounding, but online casino software companies have harnessed the technology that is readily available and created live dealer casino games. These are the perfect bridge between bricks and mortar games and online casino games, since they allow players to experience the authentic appeal of a land-based casino dealer and tables – no RNGs needed – from the comforts of home, or on the go.
Beyond live dealer casino, software developers are looking at virtual reality and augmented reality as the new frontier where players can walk around a virtual casino, or enjoy augmented reality gambling in their homes. The advances are taking place at a rate of knots, and many industry-leading operators such as 888casino (owned and operated by 888 Holdings plc) are laying the groundwork for this new-age reality. Significant developments have already taken place in online gambling, with fully integrated software allowing players to set up their own tournaments at online poker rooms, invite their own players, and compete for real-money prizes. Live dealer casino games harness the best of both worlds with uninterrupted streaming direct to players’ screens in real time. The future of live casino games looks bright, with a smorgasbord of offerings, tailored betting options, and generous bonuses and promotional offers to boot. Throw in the prospect of virtual reality headsets and augmented reality interactions, and it becomes a whole new ballgame.