A new year means another 12 months of exciting opportunities and wasy to make money, but most of all it means that gamers can look forward to some awesome new technology and trends that will rise in the coming months.
4K and HDR is a huge focus across the industry but what other trends could we be dealing with in the months ahead?
4K HDR will become the standard
With all platforms bar the Nintendo Switch able to play 4K games with HDR, there is no doubt that 2018 will deliver spectacular gaming experiences that will most certainly take advantage of this tech.
We have seen more and more games in 2017 come patched with support for the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X with HDR included and the differences between standard dynamic range and HDR has to be seen to be believed. Not to mention that more and more PC monitors are now HDR supported creating a new industry standard for the tech.
Gamers want it and it gives developers an opportunity to showcase their work the way they intended it to be seen. Every new game slated for release promises a visual feast for our eyes and we are truly in a great position to experience them all. While it is uncertain if all upcoming titles will support 4K and HDR, most developers have taken to implementing higher resolutions and High Dynamic Range than ever before.
With 4K TVs and PC monitors becoming more affordable, everyone will be able to experience it soon enough.
Indie games will grow even more
With triple-A games letting us down on a monthly basis due to loot boxes and other in-game purchases, many gamers seem to be jumping ship and boarding the indie one.
Not only are they cheaper, but the experiences are longer and have next to no additional purchases other than maybe an expansion or two.
Gaming platforms are also becoming more open to indie developers releasing their games on them so we are seeing more and more releasing on a weekly basis.
The bar has also been raised for indie games which makes the “quick buck” games hide in the shadows of games like Steamworld Dig 2, Shovel Knight, We Happy Few and more.
2018 has some great indie games coming our way like The Last Knight, Indvisible and much more. If you are looking for a cheaper gaming outlet this year then you will find it in Indie games.
Pokemon GO came along and changed the way we looked at mobile games.
With its AR and location-based gaming, we ran around the world catching digital creatures whenever we could. We have seen advances in AR across the industry with Acer’s mixed reality, Microsoft’s Hololens and not to mention Apple’s massive step in AR with their ARKit built into every latest iPhone.
Games are slowly becoming a physical manifestation in a digital world where players can fully explore them through a screen that acts like a mirror into another world.
In 2018 we will see AR going even further as tech advances allowing us to use AR as a method of entertainment in gaming. Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is already the talk of the industry as it is said to be the next big mobile AR game.
We can only wait and see if any new tech will also be coming our way that will add to this AR craze.
Gaming laptops will finally be affordable
2017 was a strange year for gaming laptops as every company on the planet tried to beat the other with the same old tech built into the same laptop.
Near the end of 2017 things got interesting as gaming laptops got thinner and more powerful. Nvidia’s Max-Q design allowed for the most powerful gaming chipsets to be thinner than ever and now AMD’s new mobile Ryzen chips are fighting the high price point of the Max-Q thanks to its new 12nm mobile gaming chips.
With the most expensive Ryzen mobile chip setting you back $170, this means that your budget laptops will be gaming devices too.
While you will not be able to play extremely high-end games on it, AMD says that with enough tweaking the chipset can output decent games and 1080p. With that being said, Nvidia’s mobile gaming chipsets could also see a price drop in order to counter AMD’s Ryzen tech which means cheaper laptops for all.
While the Max-Q will still be out of most people’s price range, this is a step forward in gaming laptops as companies try and get everyone into gaming.
Games as Service will continue
Coming off the year of loot boxes, unfortunately, games as services will not be going anywhere in 2018. In short, those games that demand every hour of your life such as Destiny 2, GTA V, Battlefield and more will still be around with more games like them coming your way.
Loot boxes and pay-to-win tactics might die down a bit but games that rely on constant new content will still be releasing it and you will have to pay for it.
Games as services are nothing new but over the past few years, we have seen them become a predominant trend in the industry with no sign of them going anywhere. In 2018 be ready for more Destiny 2 DLC, Battlefield 1 maps, FIFA Ultimate Team purchases and much more.
The longevity of games is the number one focus for developers now and 2018 will bring about more of these to test your willpower.