The Technologies Being Used by Gaming Companies

CIOReviewIndia Team | Wednesday, 12 August 2020, 04:18 IST

The Technologies Being Used by Gaming Companies

Due to its nature, the gaming industry sits at the cutting edge of technology, pioneering new products and concepts to deliver a more exciting and immersive experience to players. Things have come a long way from the times of early consoles and home computers of the late 1970s and early 1980s. With the release of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X expected in the coming months, we can expect some big steps up in technology again.

Here are some of the most revolutionary and innovative technologies being used by the gaming industry right now.

Ray Tracing Graphics

Today’s video game graphics are almost incomparable to what we saw in the 1980s and early 1990s. The 2D side-scrollers have slowly morphed into photorealistic graphics that can sometimes be difficult to distinguish from real life.

In the soon-to-be-released consoles, a major step up in graphics will be made again by utilising a technology called ray tracing. This works by mimicking the behaviour of light more accurately, making reflections and shadows look far more life-like.

In video gaming, ray tracing has been impossible until very recently. It’s currently limited only to the most expensive gaming PCs which can handle high definition graphics, but the release of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X will bring it to the masses.

HTML5

Hypertext Markup Language, or HTML for short, is the language that's read by your web browser to know what to display on your screen when you visit a webpage. It gets updated periodically with new features, the most recent of these was HTML5 released in October 2014.

It added new features like native video processing and interactive functionality without the need for Adobe Flash or other software. It enabled gaming companies to develop games that can run from the browser, making them more compatible with mobile devices and slower computers.

Many online casual games use HTML5, such as DuckPark.io and Pac-Xon. Companies like PokerStars also allow players to use their games for free via their web browser without the need to download any additional software.

By making them more accessible, and removing the need for Adobe Flash and Microsoft Silverlight, games are more stable, less resource-intensive and more secure than they were before HTML5.

The Technologies Being Used by Gaming Companies

Virtual Reality & Augmented Reality

Until recently, virtual reality was technically difficult to include in video games. This was proven by Nintendo’s Virtual Boy which was a commercial failure due to poor implementation, terrible graphics, and a lack of interest from developers and fans.

Video game developers are only now beginning to take virtual reality seriously, with full VR games and titles with additional features being released on the PlayStation 4 and Steam. These have remained somewhat niche though, with titles like Job Simulator and Everybody’s Golf VR. Microsoft even ceased its VR development for the Xbox because it didn’t believe there was a big enough demand for it.

Augmented reality has had a little more success though, with popular titles like Pokémon GO and Minecraft AR blurring the lines between virtual and real worlds

Streaming

Netflix revolutionised the way we watch TV and movies at home, while Spotify changed the way we listen to music. Google hopes that its Stadia service will do the same for video gaming.

The company has developed a cloud-based service that lets gamers access their favourite titles from anywhere, without the need for a dedicated console or powerful computer. Instead, the heavy lifting like graphics processing is done in the cloud, using Google’s servers.

If it can attract a big enough user base, Stadia could change the way we play video games and may bring an end to video games consoles for good. That seems unlikely at present though, as many issues around lag and game availability need to be ironed out first.

Video streaming services like Twitch are also changing video gaming. They’ve helped to popularise esports, competitions where players play video games, by making them accessible to millions of people around the world.

Today, esports attract as many viewers as some national and international sports and generated $1 billion of revenue in 2019. This wouldn’t have been possible without streaming technology.

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