The gaming industry is one that is growing at an exponential rate. By the end of last year it was estimated to be worth more than $100 billion, making it a vital part of both national and global economies.
Gaming is also a sector that undergoes regular shifts based on software innovations, so it is intimately connected to the wider tech industry. It is these innovations that lead to better games as well as sharper and more efficient gaming devices, keeping it on the cutting edge of leisure pursuits.
By 2026, the games industry is expected to have a value of $321 billion, suggesting the numbers playing games across the world will continue to rise rapidly. It is a prediction that assumes both the software and hardware – for example gaming computers – will continue to advance during that time.
Based on the past 20 years that seems a safe forecast, but how are progressions in software affecting the games industry now?
The Software Used in Gaming
Different types of games utilize differing software to make them work. Here are examples of some of the software used in the most popular games.
- Graphics processing units (GPUs) and processors
These are standard software features found in gaming mobiles and PCs. They enable the ever-more detailed and realistic graphics to run smoothly during the play.
- Touch screens
Touch screens are a software development for mobile phones that have allowed those playing games on these devices to move and manipulate objects on screen with greater control.
- Random number generators (RNGs)
This software is prevalent within the online gambling sector. It is deployed in the slots and slingo games at Rainbow Riches Casino and similar websites to ensure the numbers are produced at random and guarantee fair outcomes for players.
- Scroll wheels
This is a software feature that is often added to gaming mice, so that it is easier for players to move up and down a screen during a game.
- Voice recognition
Voice recognition software is now frequently used in the creation of multiplayer games. It lets the players talk to each other while they are in character within the game universe.
The Ongoing Impact of Software on Gaming
This shows some of the many ways that software has impacted on the games industry by enabling studios to make better games. It is very much an ongoing process though, as software advances continue to shape the future of gaming.
The GPUs and processors found in games hardware devices are now a lot more powerful than they were in the past. That is particularly true of the Qualcomm processors that Android phones and tablets are fitted with.
This has led to better, more realistic game visuals. Whereas the games of the past had large, blocky graphics, they are now able to depict imaginary worlds made up of pixels that contain extraordinary levels of depth and detail.
Equally the software within the batteries found in the sort of hardware devices used for gaming – such as tablets and phones – is now able to ensure that they run for much longer. That permits people to play complex, lengthy games without worrying about battery power.
The relationship between software and hardware in gaming is a very important one. Software advances often lead to improvements in hardware, so the two are closely linked to one another.
Gaming hardware is generally smaller and lighter now than it was in earlier days. That is due to the software contained within it becoming lighter and more efficient and it has made the gaming experience better for players.
The Next Software Gaming Developments
Now there are new trends emerging in software development that have already led to the creation of hardware to accommodate them and that represent the next stage in gaming. Two notable examples of that are virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR).
They are starting to filter through into games, but in different ways. Augmented reality is allowing for the real and the virtual world to be combined within a game.
One of the earliest examples of that in action was the Pokemon Go game released by Nintendo. However, VR is arguably even more of a games software breakthrough.
It creates the potential for a totally immersive virtual gaming environment that makes the player feel as if they are actually in that world. Hardware in the form of headsets is already available and has progressed rapidly since the earliest models like the Oculus Rift.
The development of cloud software to enable servers to be hosted in the cloud and provide mobile streaming apps has fast-tracked the emergence of both VR and AR. They are undoubtedly the next big technological frontier for gaming and it is no exaggeration to say that VR has the potential to revolutionize it.
They are not the only emerging trends though, as artificial intelligence (AI) software is another. This is now being embedded into gaming sites like online casinos and used to provide players with game recommendations that more closely fit their profiles.
It offers the potential for these sites to improve their customer service by tailoring it to each user of the site based on their previous behavior.
Software has always influenced the future direction of gaming by making advances possible and with the likes of virtual reality and artificial intelligence, this process will continue.