2020 was an excellent year for online gaming, primarily because more than half the world’s population were locked down and confined to their homes. This meant that gaming manufacturers were able to see exactly what was in demand and take steps to meet user expectation. This has led to exponential growth in mobile gaming, so we take a look at that and even more hottest online gaming trends for the coming year.
Mobile gaming has really captured the imagination of the general public. It has become a staple of most people’s daily life, whether they play on the commute to work or whether they use it as a way to unwind at the end of a long day in the office. Mobile phone manufacturers are keen to ensure that they have the devices that everyone wants, so they focus on the most popular features, which is the screen technology for gaming and camera functionality. Mobile phones can also provide virtual reality and augmented reality games, and we’ll talk about those more later. In 2021 we can expect the mobile gaming industry to keep expanding, with every piece in the chain looking to better what they already have from the hardware to the software provider.
Virtual reality adds a new dimension to online gaming, but the downfall at the moment is it does require extra hardware in the form of virtual reality headset and possibly gloves. However, there are likely to be even more advances that could potentially eliminate this need or indeed make it more affordable. There are many online games available that give the user the experience of action being right there in with the action. Whether that is a real-life casino, a shooting gallery, or on the streets of New York during a raid, the reality element certainly appeals to players. People are indicating that if the equipment were more affordable, they would be more likely to want to play. So, gaming manufacturers are likely to be directing a lot of attention to virtual reality this year.
The concept of augmented reality has not been around quite as long as virtual reality and is possibly something that not everyone has experienced yet. Augmented reality uses the cameras built into the device on which the player is using to bring elements of the game into their surroundings. So, you would look through your camera and see your actual room or outside location and see it exactly the same as you usually do, but you would also see the augmented reality part of your game bought into the picture as if it belonged there. One of the biggest and most often commented on examples of augmented reality games is Pokémon Go. Players take their mobile device out and about in the streets, and the gameplay requires them to collect the Pokémon that appear in their local surroundings on a screen. Again, this gives the gameplay a whole new take and experience, which players are saying that they are enjoying, and because it also fits with the explosion of artificial intelligence, it is certainly something that developers will be working hard to make widely available.
Video Game Streaming
You may not think there would be a particular interest in watching other people play games; however, streaming video game progress has become a huge business. Some of the most influential game streamers can actually make a living from playing games in front of a live audience. One of the official streaming services is known as twitch, and this has been around since 2011. Their site has over 2 billion streamers every single hour every single day. This goes to show how popular a trend this is, and it is only set to grow throughout 2021. Both from those who just left again and those who want to try and make a living out of becoming a gaming influencer.
Of course, as long as online gaming remains so popular, there is going to be a demand for bigger and better gaming hardware. Last year saw the release of the next-generation Xbox Series X and the PlayStation 5. These both included various upgrades to things like native 4K in order to assure the players of the best possible graphic qualities, and both featured knew controllers to ensure that gameplay worked perfectly. Whether the companies enjoy backwards compatibility or prefer to keep everything moving forward is down to them. Still, both consoles sold out on pre-orders, and even now, a few months later, it can be hard to get your hands on them as they are so incredibly popular. This means that all gaming hardware providers of consoles, mobile phones, PCs and laptops will need to work harder to ensure that they meet the demands of the popularity that is online gaming.