Gaming is quickly becoming one of the world’s most popular past times. It’s estimated that in the United States alone, over 160 million adults play video games, while 75% of Americans have at least one gamer per household. The stats are similar all over the world and one thing is for sure – gaming is here to stay and it’s only going to get bigger. Here are some technologies that make online gaming possible.
It would be unfair to start with anything other than the very backbone of online gaming – the internet. Over time, this simple communications network has evolved into something we rely on every single day for any number of things. Email, for example, drove the very invention of the internet but it’s one of the most important things that the internet gives us. The ability to almost instantly exchange data between computers, mobile devices and gaming consoles is what makes online gaming with your friends possible. It’s not just multiplayer games either – more casual games and even casino games where real money can be wagered like online pokies are made possible by the internet.
The Smart Phone
More serious gamers might quickly discount the casual mobile game market, but it accounts for an enormous percentage of gamers worldwide. It’s made possible entirely by the smartphone’s entry into the tech market. These small, handheld computers can connect to the internet and enable not only online games, but instant access to thousands of titles that can be delivered directly to your device in minutes via a content delivery network.
Digital distribution via a content delivery network might not sound like a contender for a list of technologies that enable online gaming, but it might be one of the most important. While some still opt for a disc-based copy of a new game title, many buy it from the digital storefront and have it delivered directly to their device instantly. Not only does this mean more people have better access to games, these games can also be updated and kept up to date with new features, expansions and fixes to any bugs the games might have.
A newer entry in the world of online gaming is cross-platform play. Allowing someone playing a game on a computer to play together with someone on a console, or for players using different consoles (like Xbox and PlayStation) to play together, means that you’re no longer getting isolated from friends who use a different platform to you. Cross-platform play isn’t supported by every game, but more and more developers are choosing to add this support to their titles, which is a consumer-friendly move we can get behind.
There was a time not that long ago when only the geeks and nerds were found playing computer games, pale faces reflecting the light from their monitor late into the night. These days thanks to their accessibility and growing online userbase, games are enjoyed by many more people from around the world from all walks of life.