Video games have been around for the best part of 60 years, with the first being Spacewar!, which was created in 1962 by academics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It was a fairly primitive creation, with just a couple of lines and 2D shapes, though it did include multiplayer functionality.
In the six decades since, innovation after innovation has changed the way that we enjoy games, introducing new ways to play, better visuals, and improved competition. Here are some of the biggest gaming innovations that we’ve seen recently.
Most of us own smartphones today, but until the late 2000s, they were still not accepted by everyone. Since then, they’ve changed almost every single part of our lives, from communication to shopping.
Smartphones have also completely changed gaming. While many people still play games like Elden Ring on PCs and gaming consoles, smartphones have made it much easier for people to download and enjoy video games on the go and encouraged millions of new people to play them for the first time in their lives.
Since the late 1980s, Nintendo dominated the portable gaming market with its Game Boy and then DS consoles. However, it recently discontinued the last one after falls in demand due to smartphone gaming on devices like the OPPO Reno2 Z offering a comparative experience.
Slot games have always been popular among casino goers. Their bright colours and loud sounds make them incredibly exciting to play. Slots have evolved a lot in the 100+ years that have passed since they were first invented, with new features like automatic payouts, different prize levels, and themes.
However, no innovation has been as big as the creation of the video slot. These games use a video screen to display the reels, inside of physically moving drums. This has allowed developers to create bonus rounds, include multiple paylines, and even add in video cut-scenes that help tell a story.
Video slots have also made it easier for different types of jackpots to be included within a single game. Online casinos have made it easy to play slots online and offer interesting variations and themes, with titles such as Bigger Bass, Gates of Olympus, and Champions of Mithrune.
The internet, like smartphones, has changed many areas of our lives. For gaming, it has changed the way new titles are distributed, switching from the sale of physical discs in physical stores to digital downloads. This has made it easier and cheaper for publishers to get their new content to customers and allowed gamers to start playing their new purchase much sooner.
That’s not all though. The internet has changed the way many people play games. Instead of using single-player modes where they compete against a computer, most gamers now play online against other people.
In fact, many modern titles such as Call of Duty, Fortnite, and League of Legends are designed to be mostly or entirely focused on online multiplayer.
The internet has also allowed publishers to provide updates to their games after they’ve been released. In the last decade, we’ve seen this result in the lifespan of AAA titles being extended from just a few years to over a decade. For example, Grand Theft Auto V remains one of the most-played titles despite being almost eight years old, while League of Legends was released in 2009.
Virtual reality has been something inventors have experimented with for decades. Early VR devices, such as the 1995 “Sensorama,” included smell-generating devices, wind generators, and a video screen.
In the mid-1990s, Nintendo attempted to create a VR gaming system called the Virtual Boy, but it was quickly withdrawn from sale due to the poor quality experience that it offered to players. The main problem was that the technology wasn’t able to deliver on the promises that Nintendo was making.
In more recent years, improvements in technology have allowed companies like Oculus, HTC, and Sony to finally create VR headsets that can offer a truly immersive gaming experience.
Today, VR gaming is still in its infancy, but as truly wireless headsets hit the market, it promises to offer an entirely new way to enjoy the medium.
“Web maven. Infuriatingly humble beer geek. Bacon fanatic. Typical creator. Music expert.”