Do you love playing video games?
If you do, take a moment to look back through the past 20 years and see how far gaming technology has gone. Innovation is the name of the business and the gaming industry continues to bring forth new ideas.
Not sure which technology and gaming innovations moved gaming to where it is today? Check out this list below and discover some of the most notable innovative brands today:
You can’t talk about innovative gaming devices without mentioning Nintendo. It was Nintendo that introduced the D-Pad, modern handheld devices, and the analog stick.
Without Nintendo, there wouldn’t be modern touch screen controls for gaming or motion controls. The Nintendo Switch continues the trend of introducing innovative gaming technology.
Unlike the PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X, the Switch functions both as a handheld device and as a traditional home console. Its innovative features and focus on fun for the family help boost it into one of the best-selling devices of all time.
Although the Virtual Boy wasn’t a market success, it was the first gaming device to feature virtual reality technology. Nintendo’s Wii U, another financial failure, was still an innovative beast thanks to its dual-screen system on a home console.
Facebook might not be on everybody’s mind when the discussion of innovative gaming accessories and devices comes up. However, the social media giant now leads the trend for virtual reality.
While Valve’s HTC Vive took the charge for a few years, Facebook’s Oculus VR is now the leading device in the market. You can even use it with Valve’s digital gaming market, Steam.
The available Oculus devices today include the Oculus Go, Rift, Quest, and Quest 2. Other notable VR devices, from other companies, include the PlayStation VR, HP Reverb G2, and the HTC Vive Cosmos.
Yes, VR gaming is still in its infancy but a few games are taking full advantage of the technology. Half-Life: Alyx and Beat Saber are some of the best examples. Some newer titles, such as Hitman 3 and After the Fall, will also take advantage of VR technology.
Mobile gaming will never be the same again thanks to Tencent China. The company led a revolution in multiple industries but it’s their gaming department that takes the charge.
To put things in perspective, Tencent partly owns mobile games PlayerUnknown’s Battleground, Fortnite, and Call of Duty: Mobile. The company also owns League of Legends.
All of the mentioned games stormed the world and became best-selling hits. Fortnite alone, also owned and developed by Epic Games, earned nearly $2 Billion in 2019.
Tencent isn’t even done. The company is aiding in the development of Pokemon Unite, a MOBA game utilizing the popular Pokemon franchise. Tencent’sTimi Studios, which worked on PUBG and Call of Duty: Mobile, is behind the game’s development.
Lenovo might not be the first name you’d think of when it comes to innovative gaming laptops. One might think of ASUS, Dell, or the Republic of Gamers sub-brand. Alienware is another popular brand when it comes to gaming PCs.
However, Lenovo should come up now due to their Legion gaming PC.
The Legion Slim 7i, for example, is now the world’s thinnest gaming laptop featuring NVIDIA GeForce RTX video cards. The laptop also features 4k UHD resolution and a 10th generation Intel Core i9 processor.
Other notable features include its 16-32 GB DDR4 memory, quick-charge battery, and Dolby Atmos Speakers. As a gaming package, you can easily stream and play AAA games like Cyberpunk 2077 in full 4k 60Hz resolution.
Don’t hesitate to check out a few Lenovo Legion gaming PCs here. There are other models available, such as the Lenovo Legion 5Pi, Legion 5i 15, and the Legion Y740 (15). They’re all similar in design but differ in terms of specs.
It’s impossible to talk about innovative gaming companies without mentioning Sony. While Sony didn’t hit the gaming market until the launch of the PlayStation in 1995, it continued to strike back with innovative features and ideas.
During their earlier efforts, Sony introduced concepts like the dual-analog sticks and using CDs instead of cartridges. Their choice of CDs was why companies such as SquareEnix (then Squaresoft) shifted from Nintendo to Sony. Games like Final Fantasy VII exploded in popularity and a part of this comes from the decision to rely on CD capabilities and storage.
Nowadays, Sony also innovates with their PlayStation 5. Like their previous consoles, the company intends on making their console an all-in-one media device. You can play games, post on social media, watch on apps like Netflix or YouTube, and even edit recorded gameplay videos.
The PlayStation 5 also features haptic feedback in the controllers. The player can now feel adaptive tension while pressing the trigger buttons. This makes pulling a bow, driving or pushing against an object in-game feel more realistic.
Valve once became a household name due to games like Half-Life but it’s now more popular thanks to its digital gaming market: Steam.
Before Steam, people had to purchase video games physically. This was the case even if it meant buying an empty box containing nothing but a download code. With Steam, a person could access their entire digital library from one platform.
At the moment, Steam has well over 30,000 video games for purchase. This also includes games still in Early Access. This refers to games still in development but available for people to play and test.
Since Steam launched, a few other digital platforms also rose. The two most notable platforms are the Epic Games Store and GOG.
Steam isn’t Valve’s only innovation. As mentioned, they also helped bring virtual reality to the forefront of the gaming industry. The HTC Vive headset was Valve’s first foray into VR and it worked well with several Steam games.
Without Apple, mobile gaming wouldn’t be the same. Apple introduced the world’s first smartphone with the iPhone and also introduced the iPad after. With the new touchscreen technology, mobile games like Plants vs Zombies and Angry Birds gained traction with casual and hardcore gamers alike.
However, Apple’s innovations don’t end here. Apple recently launched its new gaming subscription service, Apple Arcade. In some ways, it resembles Microsoft
The service offers a free trial and then costs $4.99 per month. One subscription grants access to six people. At the moment, Apple Arcade’s library includes over a hundred games.
While not all of the major AAA titles are available, some notable games include Shantae and the Seven Sirens and Oceanhorn 2: Knights of the Lost Realm. Apple Arcade allows subscribers to download games and play them offline. It also syncs with gaming controllers like the DualShock 4 and the Xbox One controller.
Microsoft shouldn’t be a stranger to any modern gamer.
The company made online console gaming a regular thing thanks to the popularity of the Halo franchise. It was Microsoft that started the trend of having shooting or driving controls on the shoulder buttons. Gamer tags or IDs weren’t a thing until Microsoft introduced them.
Xbox Game Pass is another innovation from Microsoft. This was a monthly subscription that gave Xbox One players access to AAA and indie games. A subscriber could play the game as much as they wanted as long as the game was still in the Game Pass library and as long as their subscription remained active.
One big gaming innovation from Microsoft is the introduction of achievements. These are external goals gamers can strive to achieve in each game. The more difficult an achievement is, the higher the rewards are.
In terms of gaming technology, Microsoft again takes the spotlight with its new xCloud subscription. This system allows a person to stream a game directly from Microsoft’s servers to a weaker device, like a smartphone or laptop. Of course, stability depends on the user’s internet connection.
One of the biggest gaming franchises in the world, Pokemon, got even bigger when Niantic developed Pokemon Go. The game ran on smartphones but it smartly used GPS and Augmented Reality (AR) to create a never-before-seen gameplay style. Players could go around the real world and “catch” Pokemon, which they could see via AR on their phones.
Even in the midst of the pandemic, people continued to play the game. Niantic even added features so people could play while under lockdown.
Since the boom of Pokemon Go, many other companies attempted to launch their own AR “hunting” games. Some of the most notable examples are The Witcher: Monster Slayer, Dragon Quest Walk, and Harry Potter: Wizards Unite. All of these utilize AR technology similarly to Pokemon Go.
Try Out the Best Gaming Technology Today
These are nine of the most innovative gaming technology available today. From Nintendo’s hybrid console to AR technology in mobile games, there’s always something new making video games more engaging and fun. Don’t hesitate to give some of these gaming devices or services a try!
Of course, you shouldn’t stop here because there are many more new innovations launching every year. There is always something new coming out, such as the implementation of ray tracing in video games. To keep up with the latest gaming and tech news, we invite you to continue reading more of our posts right here, today!