Every day there is some new technology that is either being introduced or plucked from obscurity to become the next big thing. There are trends that appear in technology as new things are found and brought to light. Items catch on and every so often one of those tech experiences sticks. In the world of video games, these changes are less frequent. Often you see progression at the beginning of a new consoles life cycle and occasionally at the halfway mark. While we are still in the first half of the launch window of both PS4 or Xbox One, let’s take a look at some of the innovations that seemm to be dominating and what may come within the lifecycle.
Motion and Audio Capture
These devices have been around for a while (Playstation Eye and Kinect), serving the same purpose. They can see you and capture your motions. They allow for games that track your motions and register them. Those hokey mocap games are beginning to slow their production. Instead games are no focusing on these devices more so for voice control. This allows a more seamless integration into games because it forces you to interact with them.
This past weekend I tried the Oculus Rift for the first time and I have to say that they are doing something right. The actual headset is light and you can almost forget that you’re even wearing it. As you immerse yourself into the world the OR provides you can literally lose yourself and forget where you actually are. After getting to experience the Oculus Rift, I can emphatically say that I am on board for this technology and can’t wait for it’s inclusion in this current gen. And virtual reality will be a thing of this gen. We’ll see Oculus Rift released with a reasonable cost. Sony isn’t staying out of it as they have already announced and shown the hardware of their own virtual reality headset. As a video game experience, I think that virtual reality will be the first real step into what actually feels like next gen.
While virtual reality may be the big on of this current gen of video games, there are also smaller innovations that each console does. For Microsoft, they went with a whole home integration by allowing the direct connection of one’s cable box to be played through the system. it isn’t perfect. In my home we’ve certainly had to plug directly back into the TV on multiple occasions, but I get the idea. Then there is Sony going for more tactile recognition similar to Vita. On PS4’s controller there is a nice large square with haptic feedback that could be used for who knows what, if anyone could. Then there is Wii U’s giant game pad that acts as a proprietary second screen experience.
Things That Work
This is going to be simple. The innovations that stick the best within the culture are the innovations that can reach the widest audience and be applied to more than one situation. Without the widespread support, it is harder to keep a hold. Virtual Reality may work because it could potentially be able to reach more than just one console.
What video game innovation are you most excited for?