From AI to Cloud Gaming: The Transformational Technologies Set to Dominate Gaming

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  • For a long time, the biggest advancements seen in the gaming world were mostly down to graphical leaps. Gamers of a certain age will remember the excitement of going from 8 bit to 16 bit to 32-bit consoles. However, these days, technological advancements in gaming go far beyond graphical improvements and now change the very way games are played and experienced.

    A combination of new and emerging technology in the form AI, VR and cloud gaming are allowing for transformational gamines experiences that are more immersive than ever. Let’s take a closer look at the technologies that are set to dominate gaming in the coming years and decades, starting with artificial intelligence.

    Artificial Intelligence

    AI is a term that almost all gamers are familiar with. For a long time, “AI” in gaming was usually used to refer to enemy and NPC behaviour. However this isn’t AI in its truest sense since NPCs, whether friendly or not, are usually programmed to follow a certain script and set of parameters and don’t have the ability to learn and adapt their behaviour. This is changing very quickly though. 

    AI as it exists today is more sophisticated than ever and will soon be used to program NPC behaviour in video games in a much more advanced way. Imagine NPCs in games that can adapt their behaviour based on your in-game choices. This will allow for much more immersive and realistic experiences. 

    It isn’t just for creating more advanced NPCs in games where AI is going to be used, however. It can also be used to generate more realistic environments with life-like textures and advanced lighting. There are also the non-technical aspects of gaming, such as art, music and story writing where AI is likely going to be used more and more. 

    Cloud gaming 

    Cloud gaming has been around for a while, but many people feel it’s still yet to reach its true potential. Some prominent cloud gaming platforms such as Google’s Stadia have failed, which has made a lot of gamers question whether cloud gaming is truly viable as a replacement for traditional gaming platforms. 

    However, as technology improves and servers that are capable of running high end games flawlessly become widely available, there’s a very good chance that cloud gaming will be the go-to choice for many gamers thanks to its many benefits, such as not being limited by your hardware and instant accessibility. 

    When combined with other technologies, such as VR and AI, it’s not hard to imagine how cloud gaming can give way to truly transportive gaming experiences that feature giant open worlds, sophisticated NPC behaviour and branching storylines that are unpredictable and unique to each player. 

    VR and AR

    VR and AR technology are both still in their infancy but are quickly becoming more mainstream, with many VR headsets now available. VR in particular has had billions of dollars’ worth of research poured into it in the past decade and the technology has come on leaps and bounds, with some truly incredible VR experiences now available on PC and consoles. But what about AR?

    Apple recently announced their Vision Pro headset, which makes use of both AR and VR technology – often referred to as “mixed reality”. It’s not the first mixed reality headset of its kind but it is the most advanced and gamers will be particularly excited by the possibility of plugging their controller into it to play on a giant virtual screen with immersive audio. 

    This is likely just one of many mixed reality headsets that will be released on the market, as other manufacturers realize the potential of providing gamers with this type of experience. 

    Spatial and 3D audio

    As well as innovations in how games are perceived and accessed, there is also increasingly sophisticated audio technology that’s being integrated into gaming experiences. Sony’s Pulse 3D headset for the PS5 is one example of this – providing 3D sound that creates an incredible immersive audio experience for players. 

    Audio is certainly going to be a form of technology where developers put more attention going forward and when combined with improved graphics and immersive visuals, it’s not hard to see how games of the future will be that much more incredible even compared to what’s available today.

    Conclusion 

    The gaming industry is changing all the time and now more than ever and gaming platforms across the world are integrating technology into their user interface to create an increasingly more streamlined experience. The amount of new technologies that have the potential to be combined to create the most immersive experiences imaginable should make all gamers very excited for what’s to come in the future. 

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