The Future of Gaming?
9:51 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story
Stomped has noted the posting of an article titled The Future of Gaming: 2006, an exposition by PC Gamer regarding the next five years of gaming as based off the progress made in the last five years. Though it's a bit PC-flavored, it's an intriguing look into the future possibilites of gaming and includes quotes from noted industry leaders such as Cliff Bleszinski of Epic Games and David Perry, president of Shiny Entertainment. Epic is of course the creators of the Unreal/Unreal Tournament series and engine, and Shiny created Sacrifice, a 3D RTS being brought to the Mac OS.
PC Gamer notes that, if one were to look at the past five years of gaming, amazing leaps in technology have already taken place. In the year 1996, 200mhz was one of the fastest processor speeds around. 3dfx was just getting around to introducing its Voodoo chipset. Many games were still DOS-based on the PC platform. This is quite a contrast with what the PC crowd is currently playing with: 1ghz processors, all PC games running under Windows, and the demise of the heretofore successful 3dfx.
Interestingly enough, PC Gamer points out that even though technologies have advanced significantly, the games we play today are pretty much the same as back then. Five years ago, we played Myst, Warcraft, and Dark Forces. Today we're waiting on Myst III, Warcraft III, and the Star Wars online game. When the aforementioned Bleszinski, Perry, and other industry insiders were asked to remark on the subject, they all pretty much said the same thing: future games need to become more immersive, evoke more emotion, and in Perry's words, create "game worlds that I don't want to leave."
There's little fear that the technology side will not keep pace. According to statistics, processor power increased by over 700% in the past 5 years, and trend analysts are saying this will continue through the next 5 years. The same can be said for graphics cards, which continue to push the envelope and add new features to create near-photorealistic games -- the GeForce 3 is a pretty good example of this, and it's just the beginning.
In terms of sound technology, though some insiders believe that there's not much more to be done, others say that there's still plenty to do. More and more channels will be added, one of the proposals being 10.2 sound, involving 10 speakers and 2 subwoofers. At the other end of the spectrum, there's the possibility of sound input, allowing for voice-controlled games.
PC Gamer - The Future of Gaming: 2006
The article goes on to discuss wide-scale broadband use, gaming on wireless devices, and the various types of controllers that may be out in the future. It's an extremely interesting read and well worth the time.
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