What Happens Next?

By nature I tend to be a forward looking individual. I don’t spend a lot of time in retrospection, as far as I’m concerned the past happened and as a result I’m here.. good job!

My job involves strategy and planning – both forward looking activities – and as a result of this and of working with technologies generally I tend towards looking for the next ‘thing’. Take the iPad for example when the rumours started, I was immediately interested, when it was launched I was hooked and when I got mine I spent a long time – and a couple of formal lunches – talking to people about how I thought the device could be used, not only as an online access device, an offline reader, an HD media player and a new style of games platform but also as a tool for organisations to enable processes and to enable and engage certain groups of individuals.

So I like progress, I like things to move forward and I like to have a guess at what’s coming next. But in terms of gaming tech I’m running up against a bit of a wall. I know that Kinect is a level of technology which we’ve not seen, but in terms of actual gameplay its applicability is somewhat limited – a game like Sniper: Ghost Warrior for example is not going to work well!

What else do we have? There’s always progress on the big boxes of course, more polygons, more GPU power, more CPU power but that’s really just stroking what’s already there, there’s no real innovation to be had.

The jump from the so called 2nd Gen to 3rd Gen consoles was significant, we saw hi-definition gaming on consoles, we saw local hard disk storage, live updates, high-level online immersion and cinematic themes and production. They caught us and swept us up and we now accept them as being the best way to play.

But what comes next? there are a couple of titles out there which take advantage of certain 3D TVs but, let’s be honest, we’re less than enamoured with the requirement to wear ill-fitting glasses to see the action – cinema yes, maybe, but gaming? So will 3D be the next leap forward?

What about the grail of VR? We’ve seen various attempts at VR over the years but never one which has translated effectively to the consumer level, remember Trimersion? No, neither do I. But things are moving forward in that area even though they are currently happening in the academic world and will take a while for adoption or even practical consumer application.

Trimersion VR – never made it.

So what is there? A move to the “FullHD” standard of 1080p rather than 720p as an entry-level? Greater levels of detail in our game environments – we’re back to polygon counting again? Or will the real progress not be totally technology related?

Is the next step forward a more social one, are we looking at a greater level of in-game interaction as being the way to move forward?

I’ve being playing WoW for a couple of months now and this week was invited to take part in my first raid. Now I’m under no illusion that this was an entry-level dungeon and that the team around me were both well specced and experienced but even so, I had a great 45 minutes working with a team of folks towards a common goal. So is collaborative gaming the future or are we looking at a technology revolution still to come?

I love the anticipation!







One response to “What Happens Next?”

  1. Simon avatar

    I can see games with a similar structure to Heavy Rain really exploding in the mainstream. I think games built like that are a simple, easy sell to the more casual market, and yet they still present great potential for artistic worth.

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