One of the biggest success stories this century has been the boom in popularity of online gaming and it is showing no signs of slowing down.
Advancements in technology have driven the sector along at a rapid rate, with what passed for the norm just a few years ago already rather outdated.
The landscape is continuing to evolve as developers push the boundaries of current technology and get to grips with emerging innovations.
With that in mind, we take a closer look at online gaming and some of the ways it may evolve in the future.
When video gaming first became popular, most of the titles could only be played by one or two players at a time. There was also the option of having LAN parties, where multiple computers all hooked up to the same connection and played first person shooters like Doom.
The launch of the internet and creation of online gaming introduced a wealth of possibilities for developers, which they have expertly leveraged in recent years.
Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) games such as Minecraft are hugely popular, bringing together thousands of players to play against each other on the same server.
The launch of services such as Xbox Live fired the MMO genre into another galaxy, providing a platform for millions of players worldwide to play games online.
A knock-on effect in the growth of multiplayer gaming was the advent of eSports, which has subsequently become a successful genre in its own right.
Some might even say that eSports is the pinnacle of video game entertainment, providing an environment for the best exponents of games to battle against each other for cash prizes.
Some of the tournaments have become sprawling global affairs, offering players and teams the opportunity to win millions of dollars.
Increased interest from major broadcasters and sponsors should keep the eSports juggernaut ticking along for the foreseeable future.
The concept of gamification means that many video game elements have crossed into the iGaming sector and vice-versa.
That is undoubtedly the case where online casino sites are concerned, all of which bear little resemblance to the first incarnations launched in the 1990s.
Slot sites in particular have evolved rapidly over the past few years.
Earlier slot sites lacked intuitive gameplay and were blighted by security issues. However, according to online reviews well known online slot sites are safe and fair to play today. Improvements in technology means that playing slots online is now more secure, and players can deposit money knowing that any reputed online casino they’re visiting is using up-to-date safety measures.
Add to this security the advances in graphics, music, and general gameplay, and you have a highly sought-after and sophisticated end product.
Virtual Reality Gaming
Virtual reality (VR) technology has been on the cusp of having a major impact on the gaming sector for some time now, but is yet to fully make the breakthrough.
The supporting hardware largely failed to live up to expectations initially, but things have slowly started to change since the past couple of years.
There are now numerous VR games on the market and many leading developers are working overtime to deliver exciting new titles in this arena.
VR gaming is also becoming more prevalent in the iGaming industry, with Evolution Gaming at the forefront of innovation in this particular sector.
If you were around during the 1970s, you will remember how basic the graphics were in the popular arcade games of the era such as Pong and Tetris.
As video game console capabilities became more sophisticated in the following years, the graphics also became more sophisticated.
The new generation of consoles have moved things to a completely different level, delivering stunning graphics in both offline and online modes.
Many of the modern games offer a similar experience to watching movies and this will likely continue to evolve as developers keep pushing the envelope.
While it is possible to play online games for free, a lot of players generally need to spend money to get the most enjoyment out of their gaming activities.
In-game purchases are now part and parcel of the online gaming experience, particularly for anyone who is intent on making progress through a particular game.
Digital technology has made it easy for gamers to fund their gaming by facilitating payments from methods such as debit cards and e-Wallets.
Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin have also become increasingly popular in recent times as gamers switch onto the anonymity and security benefits they provide.
As mentioned earlier when discussing graphics, the latest generation of consoles have vastly improved the online gaming experience.
However, products such as PlayStation and Xbox face an uncertain future due to the emergence of cloud-based gaming services. Some experts argue that cloud gaming could make console generations irrelevant, although others insist it will simply serve as a great alternative.
If you can run a new game on your old console thanks to cloud gaming, why would you buy the latest generation console, right? With advancements in Wi-Fi capabilities making cloud-based gaming more accessible, it may well become the go-to medium for most gamers in the next few years, providing the supporting ecosystem is greatly enhanced.