They say blink and you’ll miss it, but when it comes to technology, blink, and you’ll miss a whole generation of upgrades that leave your own tech in the dust. It is a little like having a high-performance car in 1950, blinking, and you’re surrounded by performance vehicles from the 21st century.
That is the speed technology moves and shifts. What was high-tech and cool a year ago is now something we think of with nostalgia.
Although tech predictions are known for being embarrassingly wrong, let’s take a look at what we can expect to see in the not-too-distant future. Before we do, let’s remember that the not-too-distant future in tech terms is highly relative, and considering how far we’ve come in forty years – we had Pong, and now we have photorealistic video games, well what we talk about now could be next week.
If you want to know what’s happening in the here and now, check out gaminggadgets.com to get the lowdown.
Anyway, let’s get on with it.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
AI has been with us for some time now, and often it is working behind the scenes. It has been part of video gaming for quite a while, and Frontier’s Elite Dangerous recently incorporated it well. If players of the game don’t take action, an AI-driven foe will take over the galaxy. Players can choose to fight or run supply missions to defeat the alien menace, the Thargoids.
Arguably, AI has always been here. Computer scientists spend decades perfecting a chess computer that could beat a grandmaster. Perhaps in the future, once AI has conquered humanity, it will clone a human that can beat them at chess, but I digress.
AI already has limitless potential, but creators seem to be obsessed with making AI that can copy human behavior in text responses. One of the critical aspects of it is that it can learn.
Game developers, however, already work on more exciting uses of the technology. Frontier, mentioned above, is using it well, but really we just see the technology in gaming emerges. It may be possible that in the future, a large part of a game may be developed by AI. Chat GPT, which is currently trending, is showing that AI can code. When you consider some games, such as Star Citizen, can be years in development with seemingly very little progress made, a little bit of AI to shift the project into a beta build is welcome.
Google has been interested in AI for some time. It already assists marketers with ads, and they have had instances where an AI has built another version of itself and communicated with it using pictures. The scientists could not work out what it was saying, but it was a safe bet it wasn’t saying ‘knight to bishop 4’. In this sense, AI seems like Pandora’s Box. Just think how cool a game a Pandora Box AI can make!
Augmented Reality (AR)
In case you don’t know, AR is where technology and your surroundings are fused together. Pokémon Go and other scavenger hunt games were among the first to use the technology.
AR has so much to offer than chasing digital beings with your phone. Many have cited that being able to layer a digital world on top of the real has immense potential for bringing events to life. Imagine being able to bring a sports stadium or music venue into your home where you can choose from which seat you are watching the live action.
From a gaming perspective, imagine playing a first-person shooter around your own neighborhood streets or in an abandoned skyscraper. Those zombies have never seemed so real!
We won’t be bored and discuss the safety concerns but needless to say that AR has potential that is mostly untapped.
Virtual Reality (VR)
If you’ve ever pulled on a VR headset such as the HTC Vibe, you will know how immersive VR can be. The aforementioned Elite Dangerous has used it well, allowing you to get a full view of your cockpit, and it brings an extra element when dogfighting.
The fact is that VR makes you believe you are in a different world. You feel you can walk to the mountains you see in the distance, or you can board a vehicle to take you to a foreign land. Developers have been quick to grasp the reigns of VR to make games more immersive.
As the tech is developed, more and more games will have a VR element. The headsets will improve to the point where the wearer will not realize they are wearing one. The range of movement will expand beyond a controller and move to a more realistic range of motion. Although this is available at the moment, it will become the standard. So when you buy the latest console, all of these things will be supplied and expected.
VR has arguably been developed more than any other element on this list, but there can be no doubt that its potential is yet to be realized.
There are games that benefit from voice control, and there are add-on apps that allow you to bind actions to voice commands. This can work quite well, although there are times you sing along with a track or respond to someone in the real world, and mad things start happening in your game.
Some of these apps like to invent a character that introduces game lore and other topics of relevance into a game. This is often imaginative and adds value to any gaming session.
That said, a proper conversation is still a long way off, and that is when things get interesting.
That said, with developments in AI, VR, and AR, digital character that has their own personality, views, and opinions aren’t that far away. Chat GPT is proving this can be achieved, and although it is still being developed, how long is it before that NPC everyone loves starts talking about the NFL while beating you at chess? Not that long.
Video gaming as we know it today, might change quite drastically in twelve months. Don’t blink!