The Most Important Gaming Technologies of the Last Decade
The rate of innovation in every area of technology feels like it has been accelerating at a rapid pace for some time now.
It took thousands of years for humans to progress from creating the first horse-drawn carts to the invention of the motor car in 1886. Less than 30 years later, we were taking our first flight, and less than 40 years after that, jet aircraft were brought to life. It wasn’t long after that, that the first humans were stepping onto the moon.
And while we might not be making giant leaps for mankind on that enormous rock that orbits our planet anymore, technological developments continue to speed up in other areas.
Gaming has not escaped this rate of advancement, and we’ve gone from 8-bit machines with blocky side-scrollers to photo-realistic open-world titles in less than three decades. The most recent developments have come from incredibly innovative developers, distributors, and players alike. Here’s how they’ve revolutionised the space.
HTML is the language that helps us to see the content of the web. Without it, we’d be browsing boring directory listings all day and reading plain text files.
The latest development, HTML5, has been a major step forward for gaming as it has allowed creators to ditch third-party plugins like Flash and Java and run their code natively in the browser.
Many of the other technical innovations, including mobile games and streaming, often rely on HTML5 to offer the best experience to the highest number of players possible.
Streaming has found its way into almost every area of our online lives. In addition to video streaming sites like Netflix, social networks employ it to allow users to broadcast themselves live to anyone interested in seeing what they're having for lunch. Music, education, sport, and even more mundane things like government debates and public company shareholder meetings have all been transformed by it.
Gaming has not been left out, either. Today, the entire landscape of this form of entertainment has been redrawn at the hands of streaming technology.
For example, live casino games incorporate it into the very heart of their mechanics. Instead of using computer-generated graphics to display the different elements, players see a human through a live video stream.
This dealer takes control of the game, performing actions like dealing cards, rolling dice, spinning wheels, and advising players when and when not to bet. In doing so, they create a more interactive and immersive experience for players.
One of the most high-profile technological developments in the gaming space of the last decade is virtual reality. It’s hard to miss because it’s such an in-your-face innovation, from both a literal and metaphorical perspective.
Of course, not all VR ideas have caught on. For example, the bizarre invention of a headset that contains explosive charges is unlikely to get many sales.
But many other ideas have been hugely successful. Some of the best-selling titles include Beat Saber, Half-Life: Alyx, and Boneworks, while the Oculus Quest 2 headset has sold more than almost 15 billion units, which is greater than the number of the latest Xbox consoles.
While 27 years passed between the creation of the first mobile phone and the release of the Nokia 3310 in 2000, it took only seven more years for Apple to launch its first iPhone. 15 years later and our smartphones pack in more processing power than most computers on sale when Steve Jobs first unveiled the initial handset.
In the last decade, smartphones have made mobile gaming reach near-parity with other formats.
Today, it’s possible to play a first-person shooter like Call of Duty from your Android or iOS smartphone and enjoy a similar experience to a PC or console.
Mobile devices have also meant we can game whenever and wherever we want, freeing us from the shackles of a computer desk or TV screen.