For most gamers, particularly those on the PlayStation 4 console, 2016 was an especially memorable year; the PS4 Pro made its debut, and so did the PS VR virtual reality gaming headset, while a swath of exiting gaming titles were also released.
Now, as we approach the end of the first quarter of this year it is time to start getting excited about what’s in store for gamers between now and the holiday season. With that in mind, this post takes a look at the biggest gaming trends to watch out for in 2017 as we look ahead at the tech that will be making headlines in the industry this year.
Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality
A good place to start is with virtual reality, a technology that finally reached the mainstream in 2016 due to the release of a number of headsets including Sony’s PS VR.
In addition to this there are various affordable smartphone-based headsets like Samsung’s Gear VR that also helped virtual reality into the public consciousness. So while this trend may not be a new one, it is still a big deal for gaming. This is why gamers will be watching out for new VR games, content and experiences that will need to be announced this year if the technology is to firmly take root.
Mobile Gaming and Gambling
Another trend that was one of the highlight of the past year is mobile gaming and gambling. The increased popularity of casual gaming and casino games on smartphones and tablets is more than just a passing fad.
The affordability and widespread use of ever more powerful smartphone technology means that sites such as Play Cosmo will continue to see an upswing in new players joining their services. It is a long way until mobile devices reach saturation point in existing and developing markets such that this is a trend to watch as it continues to go upward in 2017.
The nearest and best example of a consumer augmented reality unit is Microsoft’s Hololens headset which is due to hit store shelves this year, but there are other AR hints elsewhere in gaming. Take for example last years’ biggest gaming phenomenon, Pokémon Go, a mobile game that utilised augmented reality to much success for Nintendo and developer Niantic.
AR overlays the real world with digital information, and as Pokémon Go has shown, when done right great results can be achieved with the technology therefore gamers are right to be excited for 2017’s prospects.
The Death of Consoles as we know them
Microsoft’s next console, currently named project Scorpio, is due for release later this year and could apparently herald the death of consoles as we know them. The new console and to a certain extent the PlayStation 4 represent a generation of powerful machines that may no longer need to be upgraded every few years as gamers have always done. Instead, future consoles will probably behave more like PC’s that just receive software updates when required.
Whether Scorpio will be the first console to do this and its other capabilities will be some of the most anticipated gaming news in 2017.
The gaming trends mentioned above are by no means the only headline grabbing news that will be all the rage in 2017, but are certainly some of the most likely to occur and the most significant. In fact, previewing these trends in gaming proves that this year is definitely shaping up to be yet another memorable one for gamers in general.
This article was written by Emma Grant, an in-house content writer for Sense PR.