With the launch of the new Xbox One X console this week, there has been a lot of focus on console gaming in the media. However, for many people, the PC is still the most powerful way to play games, and high-end gaming machines are a major sector of the market for PCs and chips.
AMD, for example, have seen their share price rocket this year thanks to the launch of some new gaming focused chips for desktops and laptops, and this strategy is something those interested in stocks and other forms of trading like forex (what is forex?) believe is going to serve them well going into next year too.
PC gaming has already seen a lot of changes, for instance the switch to installing from discs and downloading and playing games through things like Steam. Online gaming has also changed the industry a lot. But which current trends are changing the direction of PC gaming right now?
Professional competitive gaming has made a big difference to how people view playing games. For those who want to enter tournaments, playing MOBAs has become like training for any other sport, and for the people who enjoy watching and reading about eSports, it has an influence on the games they choose to buy and play.
As eSports become increasingly recognized as competitive events people care about, just as things like poker were, it is likely to continue affecting how games are designed and played.
Virtual reality headsets hit the mainstream last year, and at this point there are a lot of exciting titles people can play using them with a PC. With major announcements at E3 this year about VR versions of extremely popular RPGs Skyrim and Fallout 4, people who haven’t yet taken the plunge into VR gaming may well have a VR device at the top of their Christmas lists this year.
Massively multiplayer online (MMO) games may not be a new trend, as things like World of Warcraft have been popular for over a decade, however they are an area in which developers are very keen to work.
Creating entire game worlds with their own economies and social structures, all featuring real people who can interact with each other, as well as non-player characters (NPCs) designed by the developers, is something that is quite fascinating from a design perspective. In recent years, developers have looked to win over fans of things other than the pseudo-medieval fantasy genre of World of Warcraft with MMORPG games in setting such as the Star Wars universe or the post-apocalyptic world of Fallout. It is likely that a combination of MMO technology and VR will very soon be the norm for this sort of gaming.
The games industry is a very interesting one that evolves both through technology and the tastes of the players who fund it. It will be interesting to see what new trends emerge in 2018.
This post was in collaboration with a a client from the financial sector.