E3 – perhaps the world’s largest and most important gaming conference – took place last week. Sony and Microsoft agreed to go to war, Nintendo showed up, and we were even up to our armpits in small companies doing amazing things with virtual reality.
However, companies that were not at the event like Amazon and Netflix probably have more about the future of gaming than those who had a large presence there.
You may remember that LP records, CDs, VHS tapes, and DVDs have all become largely obsolete in the last 15 or so years and as a result of companies replacing market leaders as something new, different and desirable to consumers. .
There are three technologies that can change gaming forever – I’ll share some thoughts on that and then end up with a very good gaming PC from AMD that changes the rules regarding design and performance.
The fun for me with regard to streaming is that I had an argument a few years ago with Robbie Bach, who was then running an Xbox effort at Microsoft.
I argued that streaming was coming, and with Microsoft’s cloud efforts, the company should be out. He argued that I was full of crap, and that streaming games were never going to go anywhere – that meant it was a flash in the cloud stuff pan.
Okay, he’s gone from Microsoft, and the guy running the company has now come out of Microsoft’s cloud effort. Amazon announced last month that it would be streaming high-end games written specifically for its Fire TV platform.
Sony has started streaming older games in its console. It bought OnLive, one of the top PC game streaming companies, and Nvidia launched its own high-end Shield set-top box, which streams high-end PC games at 4K resolution very well.
I’ve been playing on it in 4K for several weeks (I had to get a 4K TV just for gaming – no, actually, me HAD) and the experience is pretty amazing.
Netflix is the natural to enter this segment – it watched Game Rental and decided against it in 2012. Given that 4K is becoming larger with gamers, the fact that current consoles do not produce 4K images suggests that this current generation cannot be tall for this world.
This would be the least disruptive as the streamed media content was in the DVD-rental business, and by the end of the decade, I expect most new games to be streamed at 4K resolution.
Your days of buying a game other than online are likely to be at all.
Everyone and their brothers are doing VR, and activity is off the charts. A small company called “Starbreeze” knocked them out of the park with a product called “StarVR”.
There is no doubt that this will not be an inexpensive date, but the demonstrated resolution and performance level are the baseline chances for this technology to succeed, and no other company has demonstrated this performance level.
For VR to really work, you need photorealistic resolution, so that it feels like you’re actually there and seeing the world through a visor rather than a set of VR glasses.
Most other efforts are compromised in some way, undoubtedly to keep costs down. However, Tesla performed with its car, when faced with a new technology, it is better to go after the high-end market with an uncompromising product to build a product that is that way.
VR will inspire us to revisit our game – and in particular, our controller – because it not only looks real, but also feels real. We’ll see who gets this right first, but it’s clarifying our days of playing games on TV and monitors.
There is a huge AI effort on the commercial side of the computing business that is set to revolutionize gaming. The reason for this is in part that it is more fun to play against others, because the game-generated characters are much more dimensional, working on a certain script.
Once you know what they will do, it is very easy to exclude them because they have no mind. Granted, if you’re killing zombies, this is actually a feature, but for something else – especially with pets – something that is really intelligent will add a ton of excitement and value .
Imagine a strategy game in which you act as an oversight, and the AI team you are managing loosely follows your direction, independently responding to threats and changing circumstances. Able to adapt. Imagine a pet that just doesn’t move and dies while giving orders, but actually gives you some lips and then cleverly contributes to the fight.
You can also have an AI training module that is your back and provides custom advice to improve your game performance.