New Gaming Trends to Expect in 2021

Gaming is no longer a pastime for the nerds. In the recent past, gaming was a console or PC affair, but nowadays you will find soccer moms playing a quick game of slots in the ATM queue.  There have been very big gaming tech changes in very few years. These changes have seen gaming explode into the $159 billion industry.  2021 promises even more changes. What trends are expected in the next year?

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Mobile Gaming Claims a Bigger Share

Almost half of the world’s population has access to a smartphone, and that number is expected to grow by several hundred million in 2021. Mobile will account for more than 48% of the global gaming market.  Smartphones have revolutionized the way people play games. They are highly convenient and easy to use. Unlike playing on a console, which demands dedicated time, smartphone gaming feels more of a hobby since you can play anywhere and anytime.

Free games have also contributed to the explosive growth in mobile gaming. Games analytics firm, Newzoo estimates that out of the 2.6 billion mobile players in 2020, only 38% were willing to pay for a game. There are thousands of free games on Google’s Playstore and Apple’s AppStore.

More powerful smartphone specs are also enabling smoother gaming. Powerful mobile hardware coupled with faster internet makes time-sensitive gaming a possibility. Today, it is possible to play a variety of casino games such as video poker in real-time with players worldwide.  Check out Kabono for the best online casinos offering a wide variety of exciting games.

Hyper-realistic Graphics

Graphics and lighting have always presented a challenge to game developers. They are the last frontier to hyper-realistic immersive gaming. But developments in developing photorealistic graphics are now possible courtesy of increasingly powerful graphics processors like the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti.

These intensive graphics will first come to the consoles and the PC. NBA 2K21 has set the pace with its cutting-edge graphics. Another eagerly awaited release is Need For Speed 2021.  These hyper-realistic games could be available for mobile in late 2021 when next-gen mobile chips like Snapdragon 875 come online.

High-fidelity mobile games already make up 5% of mobile gaming. These are games that are full 3D and can run at 90 FPS or more. Mobile gamers expect 2021 to offer more powerful smartphones to handle these games.

Social Gaming

It is getting harder to convince players to pay for gaming apps.  Facebook exploited this insight to offer social games on its social media platform.  Facebook users can invite their friends to play free games like slots, spin, or poker for friendly competition. Social games are currently some of the most popular, for example, Candy Crush Saga, Clash of Clans, and VRChat.

Apart from the social media platforms, gaming is being developed into a more socially interactive activity, to counter the narrative of gaming as socially damaging.  Gaming developers are integrating virtual reality into games to make them more socially interactive. In-game chatting will become standard in future games.

Cloud Gaming

One of the biggest beneficiaries of the 5G rollout is the gaming industry.  Gamers are yet to fully embrace cloud gaming because of connectivity issues. But 5G internet promises speeds up to 100 times faster than what is currently available.  Platforms such as PlayStation Now and Shadow currently offer a hybrid model of cloud gaming, but 5G will enable a richer gaming experience.

US mobile carriers Verizon and AT&T have recently rolled out their 5G networks.  This development is significant as the US accounts for a third of the global gaming community.  Cloud gaming is shifting to a location-free subscriber model going forward, with Gaming-as-a-service expected to grow to $8 billion by 2025.

Gaming is becoming a favorite pastime for people of all ages and sexes. This favorite pastime will see major changes in 2021 going forward. One clear fact is that these changes will make gaming more enjoyable, convenient, and accessible.

Interesting related article: “What is Gaming?”