“Innovation in hardware has always influenced and even shaped how games are played in the future,” games industry veteran and CEO and co- founder of Terra Virtua Gary Bracey tells us. “Whenever we see a significant development in gaming hardware, we also see a notable transformation in gaming software – both in terms of gameplay and visuals.”
Historically this has tended to feel like the norm. Each new console hardware generation or each new significant leap forward in PC performance opens the door to greater processing power, and creators devise innovative new ways to exploit that potential, coming up with new ideas in the process. Could Portal have existed without the processing power of modern machines to create its dimensional gateway mechanics? Could Minecraft have existed without the seeding and server technology running its online content?
But it may not be so much about allowing for new ideas as it is about opening up the technology to realise ideas that simply couldn’t be fully achieved before. “Advances in technology have always enabled us as developers to more fully realise our vision,” is Jeff Kaplan’s take as game director of Overwatch and vice-president at Blizzard.
“As hardware continues to evolve, new doors will be open to us to revisit ideas and pioneer new territory.”
Which is in part why we are always hungering for new hardware, hoping to see how it can open up the imaginations of game makers. “New hardware opens up enormous creative possibilities, and I truly believe VR presents a sea-change in games, as it offers an entirely new way to interact, particularly regarding multiplayer,” adds Bracey. “In fact, I’d go so far as to say it represents the most disruptive possibilities since videogames first came onto the market. This is one reason why I’m so excited about Terra Virtua, as it offers a platform for such creativity to flourish and become mainstream.”
So where is hardware heading next and what could it inspire? We’ll take a closer look at VR in a moment, but let’s look at the big manufacturers first.
“I’D GO SO FAR AS TO SAY VR REPRESENTS THE MOST DISRUPTIVE POSSIBILITIES SINCE VIDEO GAMES FIRST CAME ONTO THE MARKET”