I find it fascinating sometimes how hard it is to predict coming tech. For instance, CD technology was created in 1970, and really didn't hit the market until 1982. That's 12 years of lead in time. Now, of course, the time between creation of a tech and it's implementation has shortened. Yet, I find it hard to fathom what will come after MP3's being downloaded from thin air. Sure, we can guess, but I am talking about guessing right. I was shown an ad for bottled water in the 80's as some market test and laughed, like people would be stupid enough to buy bottled water. Hmmmmmm.
So, what does this mean for video games? Project Natal looms on the horizon and promises to offer a different style of game play. Ditto for 3D glasses, which ahve been promised for eons but are certain to be ready for prime time real soon. Maybe games will be more immersive, intuitive. But how?
When we consider new technology, one thing we often forget is the human element. The first online games were awful not because of the networks or the software, but the people. People can be jerks. Most aren't, but the few that are ruin it for everyone. Imagine having games beamed into your skull. That would be cool. What wouldn't would be the people playing that game along with you, perhaps. It's a wildcard that many people are afraid of. But let's put fear aside for a little while.
I want you to really try to think of what sort of technology is on the horizon. Don't take existing tech and enhance it (Say, DVD to Blu-Ray, for instance) Try and imagine brand new technology. Where are games headed? Of course, you need to look at where they have been and maybe examine the last ten years, watch the progression, then make your estimate from there.
Surely there will be a next generation of consoles, as rumors already abound about a PS4 and a new Wii. (Microsoft seems to think Natal is like a new console) But what about after that? Consoles are roughly a 30 year old convention. We're still plugging them into TVs. How much longer will that last? The progression of the iPod/iPhone as a gaming platform makes things interesting, and maybe that's going to be added to the mix. There's really no way to know for sure.
Think about it. And feel free to jump into the Game Players Hub forum to discuss this. Curious to know what you all think.