If you are an online gamer (and the chances are pretty high that you are!) then you will see changes coming about almost every day. These changes make a difference in:

• Hardware
• Software
• New games being introduced
• New versions of old games being introduced
• Growth in the global community of gamers and so on.

It is rather hard to narrow down the list of the most important things that are happening in the space of online gaming technology. There are big companies operating in this space and indie game developers who are making it big too. People talk about artificial intelligence in the same breath as augmented reality and gesture control. But here are 3 advances that seem to be everywhere.

Graphics
Immersive gaming has made it possible for people to enjoy an almost life-like gaming environment. This can be seen in every little aspect of online games – narratives, music, audio effects, visual effects, the look and feel of the game and its characters and so on.

Powering all this is an ecosystem that brings together:

• Better GPU or graphics processing unit.
• Growth in new technology such as gesture control.
• Graphic cards that are becoming more powerful almost every day.
• Rendered worlds that look like movies.
• Data compression.
• Use of technology such as photo-realism.

There is also the fact that hardware changes are also allowing such enhancements to go through easily. Something as simple as pixel display can have such an important effect on the world of gaming.

Gaming screens are also available in better definition and getting screens that support something as superlative as 4000 pixels is pretty normal these days! People are also buying devices specifically for games. Whether it is laptops or computer mice, everything goes into supporting the use of great graphics.

It is not just the big devices that are using and promoting better graphics. Game developers and makers are also paying a lot of attention to this aspect for the smaller devices or mobiles too. For example, much games have a decent selection of puzzles and online board games.

Virtual reality
Immersive gaming attains new levels with VR or virtual reality. Yes, many VR manufacturers are still juggling with different technologies to make this space even more amazing but VR has indeed changed the world of online gaming by leaps and bounds. According to one study, 2016 saw the world of mobile gaming taking the largest chunk possible – $41 billion in a $91 billion market.

Virtual reality took up $2.7 billion in the year 2016 but here is why it’s huge:

• Big names like HTC and Sony are set to do something significant in 2017.
• There will be better coordination between content makers for VR games and the makers of VR hardware.
• Huge growth in games that lend themselves more easily to VR environments.

For instance, e-sports is something that has shown some pretty spectacular growth in the recent past. Playing games is a social thing in the real world and it would be interesting to take this into the virtual world too.

Again, there are some innovations that are coming up that can continue to change and grow the industry in multiple ways. For instance, Samsung Gear VR allows you to place your smartphone into the hood or visor rather than getting connected to a PC or gaming console.

Portability

Delving into the history of online gaming makes for immensely interesting reading. The very first online games or video games were cumbersome in so many ways:

• Unwieldy and big console sizes.
• Cartridges that had to be purchased.
• Games had to be downloaded every single time.
• An entire ecosystem of devices was needed and therefore people could play games only in one place.

So today when you reach for your smartphone or tablet and start playing your favorite game, it does seem like magic isn’t it? Portability has made online gaming ubiquitous in more ways than one.

Mobile gaming is everywhere – literally! You can see this portability in wearable gaming too. Smart watches and smart glasses are adding to the dimensions of online gaming like never before. Nintendo, for instance, has taken the portability issue rather seriously. It is driving a lot of interest on its Nintendo Switch which has removable controllers and therefore can give you a tablet and game console rolled into one.

Gamepads and tablet PCs that are aimed at better gaming are also adding to the portability factor of online games. You can also tap into the Cloud for your next gaming experience. This is portability with a difference – you will not need to concentrate on hardware if you are a game developer. Simply use the Cloud and its functions to deliver games that can stream via the internet to the gamer’s screen of choice.

Whether it is a smartphone or dedicated gaming consoles or whether you are an occasional gamer or a serious one, technology such as the above is changing almost every component of this space.