When we look back at tech developments in 2017, it’s clear that it was a pretty big year in gaming. We saw an expanding market for virtual reality headsets, new consoles from top gaming companies, and even the introduction of smartphone-based augmented reality from Google and Apple. And that’s to say nothing of specific games released, or overall trends in gaming genres.
So with all of those developments having taken place in the space of a year, what’s next for the gaming industry? CES 2018 gave us a few ideas, and there are other guesses we can make based on existing trends.
Xbox Two & PS5 Leaks
With the Xbox One S and PS4 Plus representing the latest updates for major consoles, some believe we’re in an era of incremental upgrades. The reality however might be more like what Apple does with its smartphones, doing incremental changes every other year, and releasing full new devices in the alternate years. Rumor has it that the next Xbox console is already being designed, and the PlayStation 5 is being buzzed about a little bit also. It’s highly unlikely that either console will come out in 2018, but we’ll probably start to hear rumors and see leaks about them.
Augmented Reality Glasses
One of the biggest stories in tech that we’re still waiting for is the emergence of Apple augmented reality glasses. Other companies will come out with AR glasses as well (in fact, some were unveiled at CES 2018), but with Apple having determinedly set itself up as the leader of AR, its glasses will be a big deal. They’ll have applications beyond gaming, but it will likely be their use with the new wave of AR games that generates the most attention.
New VR Headsets
Over the course of 2017 the VR headset market organized itself fairly neatly. There’s a huge range of different prices and different quality devices – so much so that we might not really need any more. Nevertheless, new VR headsets are definitely going to emerge this year, and affect the gaming market. We know, for instance, that we’re getting essentially an updated and improved version of the HTC Vive. Lenovo is also putting out a brand new headset that should be a big deal, in that it works independently of a smartphone, PC, or gaming console.
Mainstream Casino Gaming
If you pay attention to broad gaming trends (as well as some legal movements), you can see quite clearly that casino gaming is probably on the cusp of more mainstream adaptation. Already a popular form of gaming online, this genre has grown steadily more sophisticated, now incorporating live dealer games, 3D applications, and real time competition. It’s practically made for VR and AR, but hasn’t quite emerged in those categories just yet. Throw in the fact that several U.S. states are addressing the possibility of eased restrictions on casino gaming, however, and the potential is even more significant. These games are almost certainly on their way to VR and AR – and if the States open up, their move will be major news.
New Editions Of Popular Franchises
This isn’t so much a unique trend for 2018, but it’s still something people will notice and appreciate. Browse through lists of the best upcoming games for the year, however, and it’s hard not to notice the prevalence of popular franchises. That is to say even with brand new consoles and concepts dominating the video game world, names like Dragon Ball Z, Dynasty Warrior, Metal Gear, Far Cry, and more are among the hotly anticipated games of the coming months. This is reassuring, to many. No matter how we change the ways in which we play games, it seems we’ll always be able to fall back on familiarity.