New word out of GamesBeat 2013 is heavily into technology, as everything from augmented reality
to game development is making an appearance and being hashed over as the show frantically looks for the next big trends to come in gaming. The end result, meanwhile, is that a lot of technologies will play a role in the upcoming future of gaming...if the predictions suggested come to pass.
There's no denying that augmented reality is a pretty spiffy idea by any standard. We're talking about a technology here that, under the right circumstances, can be used to allow its operator to look at a restaurant and get its menu before even walking in the door. That's the kind of thing that's going to make a lot of people interested, and if a lot of people are using a technology, it's really only a matter of time before all these people start looking for other ways to use it. That opens up opportunities in unexpected directions, and some—like Bing Gordon, former chief creative officer for EA—believe that gaming is one of these directions.
But it's not just augmented gaming, either. Game designers may find themselves more in demand as analytics and play behavior skills get adapted for use in the consumer market. Microsoft
may have issues to come as it tries to be the 3DO all over again, but does it with tools the 3DO never could have imagined having.
Indeed, the future of gaming will almost certainly not look like anything of the past. With augmented reality creating the possibility that most any area can be turned into a game arena, complete with controls on hand, that makes the old days of “sit in front of the television and play” seem quaint by comparison. And while a Fortune 500
company may not be in a hurry to hire someone who came up with a great game, the idea that game players' behavior is much different from, say, a grocery store shopper in terms of finding value isn't out of line. The Xbox One represents a huge stride forward, but then, as we discovered in the earliest going during the E3 event, it may have been too big a stride too soon.
One thing is quite clear: there's a lot brewing when it comes to gaming. There are advances that even 10 years ago would have astonished us to the point of insensibility. We're seeing things that are possible now—that are likely now—that even just five years ago would have been outlandish. 10 years ago, maybe even impossible. The field is moving with an alarming rapidity, and there will likely be more changes in the next five years of gaming than in the 20 that preceded them. It's going to be a very exciting time to be a gamer, so it will prove well worth watching in both the short and the long term.