Recent Advances in Videogames
Gaming is unlike any other media in that it is constantly improving through the advancement of technology. In the course of the last decade, these are some of the most significant developments that have made video games more fun than ever, including surprising developments with casino software.
Adaptive Triggers and Haptic Feedback
When considering the hardware it can be easy to forget most of the peripherals (monitors being the prime exception). And in some areas, these have not come along too much (there are varying keyboards and mouse types but these are mostly not drastically different from the usual type). It’s one area where consoles make the running, although this does affect PC gaming too as some games are easier with controllers and the USB connections can make it easy to plug in and play.
Aside from a gradually more ergonomic design, controllers have been playing about with vibration functions for a while and the latest iteration (haptic feedback for the PS5) is the best yet. There’s a greater degree of finesse and variance than existed with prior approaches, allowing for a type of communication not through visuals or sounds but touch, enabling a new way for players to feel the virtual environment. Similarly, adaptive triggers mimic the real-world sensation of increased pressure from activities such as drawing back (and holding) a bowstring, further adding to feeling in the game.
Advances in gaming are not limited to the world of video games, as iGaming (online betting) has also undergone a technological revolution in recent years. From the widespread uptake of mobile platforms to a few games in VR and new gameplay mechanics, players have an increasing range and variety of games to experience at online casinos. All big gaming software developers have been swift to embrace improvements and advances, which is to be expected given how competitive the online betting industry is these days. The benefit for players is that this has driven up the quality of games, and much the same has happened with casinos when it comes to online bonuses.
Hyper-Realistic Engines and Graphics
Graphics are, inherently, the single easiest measure by which videogames have consistently improved over the years, and the last decade is no exception to this. This applies to just about everything from character models (increasingly close to photo-realism), textures and lighting for a more immersive experience. The starkest of contrasts can be drawn between the original and remake of Final Fantasy VII (albeit over two rather than one decade), which changed the backgrounds from effective paintings a character ran around on to full 3D environments, and the character models from ultra-blocky to highly realistic.
One of the major changes some time ago was the shift from standard resolution to high definition. More recently (and still not adopted by everyone, of course) there’s been another upgrade to 4K resolution. It seems likely that further developments will occur in this area, with a couple of potential factors slowing matters. One is the high cost of graphics cards, caused by crypto-mining throttling supply and driving prices up, and another is that many people (especially more casual gamers) don’t want to buy new monitors/TVs on a regular basis even if it can mean an edge over other players due to faster refresh rates.
Videogames Grow Up and Deliver Excellent Stories
Videogaming is decades old as a hobby now, but this has also meant that the average age of the gamer has drifted upwards from being a schoolkid to being a full-grown adult. One of the most significant shifts has come in the form of improved, adult storytelling. While quickfire action (whether in racing games or FPS) remains highly entertaining, extremely high-quality single-player stories have lent some games in the last decade a degree of affection and respect that means they’ll be looked back on for years to come, and remain a high benchmark to meet.
The Witcher 3 is one of the best examples of how videogame stories have advanced over the years. Set in a credible fantasy world with compelling story arcs, engaging characters, and seamlessly interweaving magical powers and cynical politics, the beating heart of the story is of a man looking for his (surrogate) daughter. It’s very relatable, and the emotional beats of the narrative play just right. Unlike a film or TV series, the length of the game also adds weight to the dramatic developments of the plot, and players are free to alter the way things turn out with decisions at critical moments. Okay, this isn’t a technological advance, but it has been a key change in video games and one very much for the better.
Solid State Drives and Loading Times
It is slightly bizarre if one boots up an old PS2 to discover that the system itself and game loading times are dramatically faster than for both the PS3 and PS4 despite (obviously) older technology. While it’s true the older tech was not burdened with complications such as online services, it’s still pretty odd that loading a PS2 game is faster than a PS4. However, with the PS5 and the arrival of solid-state drives (SSD) things have changed. Game loading times are much faster, which means that there’s no prolonged waiting (old-schoolers may remember 30 minute loading times with cassette tapes, way back).
For PC gamers there’s been a more natural progression of advancing tech and things, by and large, getting better. However, even PC gamers have benefited significantly from the arrival of SSDs, which, as per consoles, both cut down on loading times and have the added benefit of being much quieter. It’s difficult to say what the next big shift will be, with many believing that quantum computers will come in sooner or later and deliver a change in computing power of a magnitude never seen before. For now, more time playing and less time waiting for loading mean SSDs have been a big step forward.
VR is a slightly odd duck, as it spent decades as the ‘next big thing’, only to fail repeatedly at becoming mainstream. Right now there are still a lot of competitors and the technology has proven more successful than in the past, but it remains a slightly hit-and-miss affair. It’s ideally designed for enclosed-style games such as piloting a spacecraft or driving a tank, which necessarily has movement that doesn’t really on personal motion but instead vehicular controls.
For some games, VR can work incredibly well, and it also has many and various applications beyond the gaming world. These range from exploring other planets or ancient ruins, to teaching surgery, and immersion therapy to help people overcome phobias and anxiety. On the gaming front, there’s still work to be done, but the advances in VR recently are substantial.
More advancements are undoubtedly on the horizon thanks to ever greater computing power fuelling technological innovation.