Gaming has changed a lot in the last decade. Video games used to be purely digital, but nowadays they’re starting to look and feel more like the real world. Some people prefer the classic gaming experience while others really love pushing the boundaries of what’s possible. However, both groups can agree that there are some amazing new technologies and ideas in the gaming world today that you should know about! Here are the top 5 gaming technologies that you need to know about, plus some information on how to get involved in their development and use them yourself!

VR Gaming

Virtual Reality in Gaming

Now that Oculus Rift is finally shipping, we’re on our way to fully immersive virtual reality experiences. We’ve been wanting VR for decades, and soon it will be here—and not just for gaming, but for exploring all kinds of content. In fact, Facebook’s involvement in VR means that a lot of people might actually get their first taste of VR through their social media app. And HTC Vive has taken the world by storm with its ability to map out your physical space and offer full motion control. These devices are expensive right now, but they’re pushing the boundaries of what’s possible when it comes to immersive entertainment. I think VR headsets are an interesting investment, especially if you don’t already have a PC powerful enough to run them. I also suspect these devices will be so much cheaper in five years than they are today that you’ll regret not buying one now if you want one later.

Augmented Reality in Gaming

When it comes to gaming, augmented reality (AR) may very well be where all future innovation is headed. By blending digital images and objects with your actual surroundings in real time, AR takes video games from a screen and inserts them into your everyday life. The first wave of AR technology came with Pokemon Go, but early innovators have been working for decades on full-on augmented reality headsets like Google Glass. And the nowadays are set to be the decade of these full-blown virtual worlds, as companies such as Magic Leap prepare to unleash their AR offerings onto the world.

In addition to gaming applications, other industries are leveraging this technology too – you can find both medical and architectural applications for Augmented Reality today.

Free-to-Play Games

The gaming industry is one of fastest growing in technology. In fact, free-to-play games alone are projected to reach $6 billion in revenue by 2016. These mobile games not only make money from advertising, but they also monetize gamers with microtransactions and subscriptions. Players can play these games for free and then spend money on special items and features inside of them. This payment model has been huge for developers because it has created a new influx of players who do not usually play traditional computer or console games. It has allowed them to grow their customer base quickly and efficiently. One example of this is the hit game Candy Crush which made more than half of its revenue from in-app purchases during the first quarter of 2013. Free-to-play games have changed the way that people perceive video games, making them more accessible and less intimidating to those who may be put off by the price tag attached to most modern day titles.

Cloud or On-Demand Gaming

In a cloud gaming network, your computer’s processing power isn’t used for gaming at all. Instead, it simply acts as a way of viewing and interacting with other gamers on a remote server. This means you can play high-end games without owning an expensive PC or console yourself. The downside is that this service relies heavily on the quality of the internet connection, which makes it less reliable than playing locally.  However, if you have a decent connection, there are plenty of benefits. For one thing, it frees up your computer so you can do something else while still playing the game. Cloud gaming also eliminates any possible crashes due to insufficient resources since any time they happen they’re caused by the person’s machine instead of the game itself (since it’s not running on their machine).

cloud gaming