The new era of online gaming

Gaming, News, Virtual Reality

As technology becomes more advanced, the way we play games and interact with one another is set to change even more dramatically.

Technology is changing everything, from the way we interact with one another via social media instead of talking face-to-face to the way we work using online tools and apps rather than pen and paper.

One area that is moving extremely quickly is gaming. Not so long ago if you wanted to play a game you needed to load a disc into a console, such as a PlayStation or X-Box.

However, with the advent of smartphones and faster home broadband connections you no longer even have to buy software and special devices to enjoy the latest games. Take Google Stadia, for example. A new cloud-based gaming platform, it doesn’t require a console for you to play games.

Instead users can play on a TV using a Chromecast Ultra stick, on a laptop through the Chrome web browser as well as using web tablets or Google Pixel 3 and 3a smartphones.

Multiplayer Online Games

Indeed online gaming – games that are played either partially or entirely online – are becoming increasingly popular on all platforms. This can range from simply seeing where you are ranked on a leaderboard to Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOs or MMOGs) such as World of Warcraft as well as ‘battle royale’ games such as the incredibly popular Fortnite.

According to research firm Statista, in 2017 22% of PC gamers spent between 61%-80% of their time playing multiplayer online games while 26% of home console gamers say they spent between 61%-80% of their time playing multiplayer online games.

Online casinos

Undoubtedly one sector of online gaming that is becoming increasingly popular is gambling. Rather than having to get dressed up to visit a real casino, it’s now possible to have the same experience without having to leave the house using a virtual or Internet casino. You can try for yourself with £20 Free no deposit casino at NetEnt Casino.

Statistics from the European Betting and Gaming Association show that online gambling had a 20.7% share of the total EU gambling market activity in 2017 while 79.3% was land-based, including lotteries, casinos and bookmaker shops. Furthermore, the online share of the gambling market is expected to grow to 24.9% in 2020.

Various types of online gambling services can be found. These include virtual casino games where the outcome of each game is dependent on the data produced by a pseudorandom number generator (PRNG) to live casino games where a human dealer runs the game in real time from a casino table which can be viewed via a live streaming video link. Players can make betting decisions via their console or mobile device, even communicate with the dealer using a text chat function.

Virtual Reality

Finally, one technology which is expected to have a massive impact on gaming and gambling over the next few years is VR (Virtual Reality). It promises a whole new experience to the consumer, immersing him or herself in a realistic casino environment and enabling participants to interact with others around them too.

According to its 2018-2022 VR gambling market survey, Technavio is predicting that the VR gambling marketplace will expand by 55% between now and the year 2022.

In order to make the immersion as realistic as possible, gamers need to wear a 3D VR headset with some casinos using VR Gloves too. These give you the impression of being right there in the middle of the action while gloves give you control over your hands. VR casinos also incorporate live dealers created using camera shots of real, human dealers – not simulations.

The only thing slowing the growth of VR gambling is that the hardware is still not cheap. There are many products around, from high-end headsets such as HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, to mobile units such as Samsung Gear VR. However, unlike today’s generation of games consoles, none of these have yet become mainstream products.

Certainly gaming has come a long way since Nokia put Snake on its iconic 3310 mobile. Over the next few years we will see even more changes as technology opens up yet more possibilities for gamers.



Tech Digest Correspondent