Has gaming come around full circle? Thanks to interconnectivity, gameplay is no longer a strictly solo endeavor. Streaming platforms and online gaming and gambling resources are bringing back the social element. Thanks to the internet, we’re back to playing with other people again.
Online gaming isn’t necessarily new. But we’re still seeing a massive growth thanks to the advancements in interconnectivity. One space making the headlines is the world of console-free streaming services, namely Google Stadia and GeForce Now. What these services provide is a subscription package where gamers can stream titles without the need of a console. According to data from Limelight Networks, Inc., around a third of gamers in the UK are willing to subscribe to these services, with 70% of expert gamers interested. Yet, as with any newer technology, there have been teething problems. Some gamers are reporting lagging during fast gameplay, whereas others find the price a little steep.
Online casino games, on the other hand, are going from strength to strength. Today they feature international tables, expansive catalogs of games, and even live dealers. Whereas we were once restricted to a solo game on a roulette wheel, we can now play a hand of blackjack against a real dealer. Furthermore, unlike the example of console network packages, there’s normally no need to subscribe to a service or buy an expensive games console. Take Paddy Power as an example, they’re one of the online gaming sites providing an innovative on-demand casino experience. Their lobby is stacked full of game titles ranging from classic blackjack right through to niche slots. Without the power of roaming data, improved processing power, and secure internet connections, none of this would be possible.
Another example of interconnectivity opening doors is the expansive worlds of online console games. We’re now able to battle it out against friends, races strangers, and connect with other players in absolute real-time via our PlayStation and XBOX. Instead of beating the computer like it’s the 90s, we’re besting each other at shooter games, or working together in teams to create cities. All in the highest resolution, with zero lag and pinpoint accuracy – providing our internet connection is powerful enough.
The main difference between these on-console games, casino games, and the streamed titles from Google Stadia is the downloaded content. Whereas Google Stadia’s gameplay relies exclusively on streaming and a strong internet connection, as do live casino and slot titles, many traditional online games require users to download key components first. It’s this home base of information sitting on a hard drive which helps reduce lag during fast gameplay. So, while we’re raving about how on-point our interconnectivity tech is, we should be honest too. There’s still a lot of room to grow, which is exciting.
Naturally, this realm of inclusive online gaming was always going to transcend the controller. It’s now a complete culture with an entire community of fans, not just players. Without the impact of interconnectivity on our social gaming habits, e-sports would have never happened, and players wouldn’t be winning multi-million-dollar prizes. Because, not only were we exposed to playing together, but we started watching experts stream their gameplay too.
Research suggests that if you’re under the age of 35, you’re much more likely to tune in to Twitch and watch somebody play video games over a soccer match. The report we mentioned earlier found that globally, we spend around four hours every week watching other people play video games. That’s a whole hour more than we sit down to enjoy traditional sports. Could we have done this without our internet connections? No way – platforms like Twitch and YouTube aren’t global TV channels. Their home is on servers, beaming information via fiberoptic lines, WiFi, and 4G into your hands.
So, what’s the real impact of interconnective technology on gaming? Interconnectivity technology has made gaming social again. We appear to have gone full circle and more people are playing together than ever before.