Technology is always advancing, and never is that more apparent than in the gaming industry. Every new game that comes out boasts incredible graphics, new gameplay, and any new additional software and hardware advancements that can be plainly seen when the game is released. Don’t trust the trailers.
However, the current best advancement in gaming technology that we can see for ourselves is the unbelievable graphics that give us games like Horizon Forbidden West, Marvel’s Spider-Man, and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. We want to look at the technology that will advance other aspects of gaming, including crypto investing, NFTs and virtual reality. Take a look at what we think is on the horizon for gaming this year.
There has already been a lot of talk around NFTs in gaming, and, like talk around No Man’s Sky, there are mixed reviews.
The pioneer here is Ubisoft, creators of games like the Far Cry and Assassin’s Creed series, who have already talked about incorporating NFTs into its games. The concept is said to be used similarly to loot right now, where players can pay for an extra cosmetic element to use in the game – only the skin you get should be an original.
The cosmetic element is important, as it will avoid another battle in the class wars in console and PC gaming, where you can “pay to win”, offering real world money for more advanced in-game weapons and armour. When that idea was initially introduced, it was swiftly met with backlash and quietly forgotten about.
As for NFT loot, specifically, Ubisoft offered NFTs in its 2021 release, Ghost Recon Breakpoint. Players can own “Digits”, which are NFTs independent of the game, which will be stored in your digital wallet. From keeping it in your e-wallet it can grow and shrink in value, and you can sell it onto a third party.
The idea is one of transferable collectibles. If you were to buy yourself some loot, that money’s gone when you’re tired of the game, with no real world application. However, the NFT loot of these digits can be passed around to the most avid collector for the biggest price like Pokémon cards, baseball cards, Beanie Babies, etc.
Cryptocurrency is well intertwined with the gaming community. You can see the same people looking for the latest tech advancements, interested in the latest games, also likely to be interested in the idea of a digital currency.
Crypto has already infiltrated the online iGaming community, where paying to play is literally the name of the game. A lot of other industries have been slow to the uptake of cryptocurrency, but online casinos are offering crypto as a payment method to the praise of its users. Due to the decentralized nature of cryptocurrency, transfers no longer need to go through the banks to be authorized, bypassing the need for the 3-5 working day wait for withdrawals, and playing deposits almost instantly.
And then there is the concept of crypto gaming, which is particularly appealing to gamers who are a fan of modding their games and getting into the nitty gritty of the code for various purposes. Everyone associated with a crypto game will be allowed to own part of the game, like skins, characters, weapons, and specific coding for that game. Owning these elements means they can be used in other games, and the rewards or bought products within the game, can be used in other games.
This, again, tackles the problem current loot has of only being useful for as long as you like the game, having no transfer option.
Virtual reality and gaming have always been synonymous. As much as the concept of virtual reality and its practicalities can be spread across the military, training, tourism, medicine, etc. it has always had gaming as its first priority.
And yet, it doesn’t seem to have really had its day.
If we were to look at the release of the Nintendo Switch, another less traditional form of the gaming console, this time handheld, it was released with a bombastic game. There was no point in getting the Switch without getting the game. In this example that game was Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and it was getting rave reviews. It became so that more people wanted to play Zelda and therefore bought the Switch, rather than the other way around.
The virtual reality headset hasn’t yet had that moment. The casual gamer probably wouldn’t even know what VR games are getting released this year unless they went looking for it. Plenty of headsets hit the shelf, but without that one bombastic game that would blow every other console away. And since then, plenty of games have been released for the headsets, but without the marketing or impressive gameplay that would convince console and PC gamers that they needed this extra gadget.
The prediction for the future is that this glorious game is somewhere in the works. The virtual reality headset isn’t going anywhere, but if it wants to sit beside the likes of the Xbox or PlayStation consoles, it will need to do something to impress more casual gamers.