The use of tablets and cell phones as companion gadgets in games is here to stay. Two good examples are games like “Battlefield 4” with “Commander Mode”, which gives you a bird’s eye view of the map so you can direct your troops, or the upcoming “The Division” from Ubisoft, where you can join your friends’ games to support them as a drone.
Another growing trend is virtual reality. This is nothing new, as Nintendo already tried it unsuccessfully with Virtual Boy in the nineties, but it is a way for video games to expand that now seems to be finding its place. The best example is Oculus Rift, from Oculus VR, a virtual reality headset funded through Kickstarter by the players themselves.
It has such great potential that Facebook bought the Oculus Rift project, and, with what we’ve seen in recent months, it comes as no surprise. Horror games that put you right into the game, roller coaster simulators that aren’t suitable for people with heart conditions, devices that take you out of your body and place you in a third-person perspective so you can see yourself, etc. The applications in video games are infinite.
And from virtual reality we move on to the present reality, to something as human as showing off what you have. It is now fashionable to stream your games on Twitch so others can see them, upload moves to your YouTube channel and take screenshots. This is nothing new, but with the introduction of social gaming on consoles it is becoming simpler and more accessible to everyone, two characteristics that are helping it to spread further on PC.
We can’t ignore the use of video and networks as support for playing games on different devices in the house without having cables everywhere. You can connect the PC where you usually game to the television in your living room with other devices connected and, using your home WiFi with Steam In-Home Streaming, you can game in an easy, fast and affordable way.
Digital download platforms are not the future – they are already very much the present, and they are changing the way we buy video games. Finding packs at bargain prices like those offered by Humble Bundle—which is also a charitable initiative (you choose how much you want to donate to NGOs and how much to the creators of the games)—or the popular Steam discounts, is a fundamental part of the gamer’s daily life.
Some still prefer to go to a store to get the game in its box (very much a collector’s ritual)
It’s true that among this abundance of downloads, some still prefer to go to a store to get the game in its box (very much a collector’s ritual), but with such great offers, it’s impossible to resist. Also, due to the slashed prices, digital sales are being promoted and, even better, we’re putting an end to one of the curses of PC games — piracy.
How much do I have to spend to be up-to-date with all of these innovations? For asymmetric gaming, all you need is a tablet or a cell phone. Devices such as Asus T100, ACER Iconia, etc. can be good gaming companions without spending a lot of money. With virtual reality, it costs a bit more: The latest version of Oculus Rift, DK2, can be reserved for less than 300 euro.
In terms of streaming games to other devices, the ideal situation would be for the equipment connected to the television, which will receive the signal, to have some power. To do this, you can resort to 2-in-1 systems that are a PC and a tablet at the same time, which would allow you to have two devices in one at home, like the HP Split range. The main thing is that you have HDMI to be able to connect it to a top-of-the-range television.