Are you prepared for the gaming extravaganza that will be 2021? With a host of next-generation consoles and innovative tech on the market, it is sure to be a revolutionary year. To get prepared, you need to know what will be available.
To cut down on the noise, we have selected the must-know trends. Read on for the 2021 innovations in gaming tech.
Next Generation Consoles
For console gamers, 2020 heralded the long-awaited debut of the next-generation consoles. The Xbox Series X and PS5 both hit shelves. However, they have yet to find games to catch up with their supreme technology.
The biggest feature is the higher frame rate that these games utilize. This decreases latency, so when you issue a command via the controller, it happens almost instantaneously.
In the case of the PS5, their new, redesigned controller is also really pushing boundaries. It has numerous methods of control, from touchpads to motion sensors. Along with a weighted controller that responds to change in the game and speaker, the console, controller, and player are now linked more than ever.
So far, the only real game to fully exploit this has been ‘Astros Playroom’ which came bundled with the PS5. 2021 should be the year when we see immersive, story-driven gaming that really starts to use the technology on offer to full effect.
Virtual Reality Gaming Tech Improvements
After years of being a concept that never quite lived up to the hype, virtual reality has now become everything we knew it could. The first commercial headset, the Oculus Rift, has been around for eight years. Though it may have had a mixed reception, it has managed to push the technology onward and most importantly, into the homes of people around the world.
One other factor, as well as improvements in technology, has been the drop in price. Headsets are now much cheaper than before, with mainstream brands like Playstation releasing their own console versions.
VR games have also improved drastically. Previously, games were adaptations of already existing games that were often slightly disappointing or riddled with glitches. Games are now being created with VR in mind, opening us up to a whole new dimension.
Lastly, the technology to go with it has also caught up. Motion tracking and sensors are now working much better, and syncing together seamlessly. All of this points to VR increasing its importance as a gaming trend in the coming year.
Return of the Old Favorites
The pandemic of 2021 saw many people turn back to childhood, taking solace in the foods and toys they used to love so much. Despite the release of two new next-generation consoles, people still wanted more of the old stuff. Gaming remakes and the price of old consoles surged, showing retro gaming was definitely back.
One console that had been on the table for a long time, but was finally unveiled at CES 2021, was the revamped Atari VCS console. Originally crowdfunded from an Indiegogo campaign, the console release has been put back twice since its original release date of 2019.
The original VCS was one of the greatest selling consoles of all time. In fact, it sold so much and spawned so many imitators that it caused the videogame industry crash. This version does however seem to be packed with features and touts itself as an all-in-one home entertainment system.
Branded as a console and gaming pc hybrid, it comes bundled with over 100 Atari classics, as well as the ability to play new titles. You can also upgrade and customize as you would with a PC, and stream games or video in 4k resolution.
Gaming PCs have always been a popular choice, but they have really come into their own over the past few years. Where they previously struggled to keep up with consoles, they now have the ability to far outstrip them for the serious gamer. This has meant manufacturers have spent a lot of time and attention focusing on the gaming PCs market and bringing some much-needed attention to it.
Lenovo continues to put out some of the strongest gaming laptops. The Legion 7I RTX is both affordable and extremely powerful. You can visit their online store where they often have offers and savings on this perfect gaming device.
A lot of major gaming computer brands, such as Razer, have a lot in store that goes beyond the realms of simply upgrading existing devices, and are moving into gaming accessories. Razers concept gaming chair has taken seating to a new level and has to face a paired down commercial release soon.
Further Rise of Indie Gaming
Indie gaming has been around since the dawn of the videogame itself. There is nothing new about people developing their own software and games. However, technology and the methods of distribution are now allowing indie gaming to become a serious contender.
Platforms such as Steam have allowed indie games to be sold in the same avenues as the major titles. This has meant games such as Stardew Valley and Cuphead have become best sellers.
In addition to this, more packages are becoming available that let people create their own game, without any prior development knowledge. Roblox, for example, flirts the line between game creation and distribution, all on one platform. Last year’s Dreams was one of the most innovative titles on the Playstation network, allowing you to create games with great sophistication from the comfort of your console.
All of this is coming off the back of a year in which the Cyberpunk scandal shook consumer trust in the large game studios. Developed by CD Project Red, the game was an unfinished mess that had been overhyped and crucially, already pre-ordered by many. This brought up questions about what should morally be allowed in advertising before a game itself can be released.
More Game Diversity
While many serious and professional gamers opt for gaming pcs and high levels consoles, most of the gaming market is still extremely casual. This trend will continue into 2021, with more diversity in gaming.
While the traditional gaming audience was predominantly male, it is now more of an equal 50/50 split. This has led to diversity within the game themselves and in the type of game being created.
For example, some of the biggest hits of the last few years have had female protagonists. Aloy in Horizon Zero Dawn was a stand-out character, as was Ellie from the Last of Us.
In addition, games are starting to focus on a wider age group. Animal Crossing, would seem to be a game aimed at children on the surface. Its appeal has transcended this, attracting numerous casual gamers to its relaxing, easy-going gameplay and setting.
Another facet of casual gaming is the trend of mobile gaming, which is sure to continue into 2021. In fact, they are the most preferred gaming device above consoles, gaming computers, and tablets.
As technology within mobile devices is increasing, we are seeing games of much better quality and higher scope of interaction. They are moving away from the typical sideswiping or gem collecting games indicative of the device. In fact, they are becoming much more akin to the games you would find on a console.
Expansion of Cloud Gaming
When you purchase a game, you have two choices. You can either go to a store and buy the physical game on a disc. This has its own problems, including having to schedule a shopping trip and checking if the game is in stock.
Your second choice is to download it to your system. Many people prefer this method, but it is not without its own problems. It takes a long time, takes up space, and you need a fast internet connection or good gaming pcs to make it work.
Cloud gaming will get rid of this problem. Instead of downloading the whole game, it will be streamed to you from the cloud. This allows you to start playing immediately, without any problems involved in storing the game.
This method has been extremely lucrative for television and movies with the rise of services like Netflix and Disney+. However, as games take up a lot more memory, this has not been possible to do until recently.
Sony obviously believes this is the way to go, as a version of their PS5 was released without a disc drive. The streaming of games is undoubtedly going to be big news in 2021.
Stay Ahead of the Curve
In summary, gaming tech is not only getting more innovative, but more personal. Expect more choice, whether from the consoles and pcs you own or in the games you play.
If you enjoyed this handy article, stay in touch to be at the forefront of gaming and technology. We have everything from Xbox, Playstation, and PC so you can get news on new releases as they occur in the coming year.