Above picture: Tech for online gaming is seeing a boom at the moment.

One of the markets that is driving technological advancement the hardest at the moment is the world of online gaming. For the first time ever, most of us have in our pockets an item which allows us to connect to the internet and play games. Many of us also have the ability to log onto a computer or games console and do the same. With all of us being so well connected, the market for online games has grown and grown. Here are some of the games pushing this revolution forwards.

Virtual Reality

Virtual reality is increasingly becoming a part of our every day lives, from Snapchat filters to moving billboards, it’s almost inescapable. A particularly exciting application for virtual reality has been in the field of online gaming. Online gaming giant PokerStars have recently launched themed virtual reality rooms for poker players. The newest theme has been named PokerStars Galaxy Space Station, where players can be customised in space age clothing, as well as encountering robots and aliens during the games.

Another application that has been using VR with great success is Vivid Virtual Reality. This company specialise in the field and recently created a faithful representation of Welsh Prince Owain Glyndwr’s historical home. Guests are invited to take part in a video tour which allows them to explore the home as it would’ve been during his reign in Medieval times. Although not strictly an online game, this endeavour will no doubt inspire the painstaking creation of many worlds to be used in the online gaming sphere.

Cloud Gaming

Cloud Gaming is often known as gaming on demand and has become incredibly popular in the online gaming world recently. This type of gaming relies only on an internet connection which means that previously ‘heavy’ games that had enormous download times, can now be played without the long wait on any internet connectable device. To demonstrate how prohibitive download times can be, games such as Forsa 7 Motorsport which was released in 2017 reached a colossal 100GB size. Waiting for this game to download on a slow connection could genuinely take days and on some older laptops, there could very well not be enough memory to support it.

Cloud Gaming servers completely remove the need for local storage and huge wait times, so understandably the technology was capitalised upon fast. Another huge bonus to cloud gaming, is that it isn’t necessary to pay a large lump sum of money for a gaming console. Most games can be played on a computer or mobile phone, leaving the cloud gaming development costs to be paid by the developers, rather than the customer.

Face and Voice Recognition

Gaming online
Voice recognition could soon alter the way we control online games.

Along with the advent of virtual reality came the ability for phones and computer screens to recognise our faces and voices. This technology has been used to get hilarious results with apps such as Snapchat and Instagram allowing us to turn our faces into dragons, or for our ears to look like a puppy dog’s. It’s also been used to great effect in helping disabled people cope better with every day tasks, such as communicating between deaf people and navigating the world in a wheelchair.

In the online gaming world, face and voice recognition are only just starting to be fully capitalised on. This technology has been used by developers to allow games to be controlled by our voices as well as fingertips, which could have brilliant application for those who lack fine motor skills. Facial recognition is even being used to tailor the difficulty of games. For example, if your computer notices you grimace more than usual during a sword fight, it might lessen the difficulty for you. Similarly, if the computer notices your face looking disinterested, or paying attention to other spaces in the room, you may see the difficulty of your game increase in order to keep your focus.

Picking up on cues like this is still not widely used technology, but it’s predicted that within the next couple of years it’ll be more and more commonplace. Technology in relation to online gaming is in a really exciting space at the moment and with the money and time being poured into improving the gaming experience, the landscape of online gaming could be wildly different in the not too distant future.