Since the decline of physical arcade games in the 80s, video and interactive gaming has grown by leaps and bounds in terms of the consoles, graphics, resolution, soundcards and the many different games you can play and enjoy. When it comes to breakthroughs in PC games, you only have to look at the very first editions of a game like Warcraft, then compare it to the multiplayer universe that is it now to see how much the technology behind it all has evolved.
PC gaming is part of an industry that will continue to thrive and prosper for many years to come, but none of it would have been possible without the early developments and innovations created by the world’s top software tech and gaming companies. Here’s a look back at some of the creations that revolutionized the way we play.
Cooperative games first emerged onto the Atari scene in the 1970s, and multiplayer matches occurred mostly in arcades. It was in the 90s when the first examples of 3D-style multiplayer games were introduced, and as community gaming grew alongside the progression of the internet, it would only be a matter of time before this interactive style of gaming went online.
The demand for multiplayer consoles and games which could connect to the internet is what eventually paved the way for the most played favorites of today, like WoW, Runescape, Call of Duty and PUBG. Multiplayer games can now be found everywhere including social media platforms, online casinos, mobile gaming apps — and offline in arcades, museums, bars and betting shops.
World Maps and Beyond
In games that feature hours and hours of maps like Assassin’s Creed, the Elder Scrolls, and Grand Theft Auto, not only can you explore countries of the real world and their renowned terrains in great depth, but the scope of non-fiction places in games are also exceptionally captivating. You’ll find maps on entirely different planets, galaxies and dimensions in games like Elite, No Man’s Sky and Minecraft.
The visual excitement these games provide is in a league of its own. Some of the maps are so realistic and immersive, it’s no wonder that Millenials and today’s gamers get sucked into playing for hours on end: who wants to be stuck on a busy subway on the way to work when you could be firing banana bombs and exploding sheep in Worms?
Graphics and Display
It might be a long time before PC games will be displayed in 16K Ultra HD, but with the advancements of resolution and bitrate technology, we’re probably only a few years off from being able to play games in 8K. This is a continuous progression in games and the graphics are becoming noticeably more realistic with every new release.
Games such as Witcher, Battlefield and Fallout all sport some of the most stunning HD displays capable of up to 120 frames per second. The cutting edge graphics and sounds means you can micro zoom into the most detailed textures, surfaces, and organisms. Players with strong audio systems can hear a pin drop in certain games — it seems the developers concluded that if you’re going to survive bullets and explosions firing at you from all angles, your eyes and ears are going to be your most valuable asset.
Genre and Style Diversity
All traditional games and pastimes have hundreds of variations these days. You only have to look at online slots to see the adaptations of iconic books and movies. That doesn’t even touch on the number of themes inspired by celebrities, food, animals and seasons. The PC game market is so diverse these days that there is always something to suit the preference of any audience and demographic, whether it’s driving and racing, first-person shooter games, puzzles, and riddles, story themes, or full-on platform action.
Gone are the days where you’re limited to a few simple choices in gaming too; now, you can even be the creator of your own 3D world and give birth to whole civilizations, planets, and even dictate what era of time you want to play in. The games of today are limitless in choice and you can always guarantee there will be a niche set of players ready and waiting for the sequel or next release.
Virtual and Augmented Reality
For sure the next big step in the gaming world is the full transition to augmented reality. VR has been around a few years now and thanks to consoles like Oculus, Valve and Playstation VR – we’re at a point where you’re able to flex all of your senses at once within a game. Virtual Reality has fuelled uses and demand in many other industries besides gaming too – it’s being used to simulate real scenarios in surgical and paramedic procedures, test the outcomes on virtual warzones, and dock cargo capsules onto the ISS.
In the AR world, the lines of reality are being blurred even more through environments that can connect with a human’s touch, sight, smell, and hearing. The technology is still in its infancy as we know it, but companies such as Pepsi, Disney and L’oreal are working on their own AR concepts in 2020, while the U.S. army is already said to be using it in military practices.
We’ve already tipped the threshold when it comes to gaming through controllers and joysticks. It’s only a matter of time before players will be able to enter these kinds of games as a virtual surrogate or avatar and play as if they are there in the flesh. Just imagine sitting around the Vegas blackjack tables with a glass of brandy in real-time, with a real Dolly Parton purging ballads in the background, and a stack of real $100 casino chips at your side – sounds like bliss doesn’t it?