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Gaming: The Final Frontier

Warning: This article may contain blunt opinions and comparisons of
consoles and technology - Please refrain from senseless fanboyism.

Gaming: The Final Frontier. These are the thoughts of the gamer AuToFiRE. His lifetime mission: to explore strange new ideas, to seek out new games and new consoles; to boldly go where no man has played before.

We all have our ideas and visions of what might become of gaming in the next 5, maybe 10 years - but what about in 20 years? Most of us know the specs of the current console generation and computer parts available to the public, and we all know the major jump in power from last generation to the current (ex: 300 MHz for the Playstation 2 to 22.1 GHz for the Playstation 3)

Now for the fun part, breaking this down into basic components: Processing power, Graphics, and Interactivity(how we play the game). Lets start with processing power

Now for a little learning before I continue: Moores Law states that the number of transistors that can be places on a  microchip will multiply roughly by a factor of 2 every year, so basically it means processing power will roughly double every year( 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, etc.). Now to me, that is quite a scary thought because we don't even know what to do with the power we have now, the only thing that is actually pushing consumer electronics is what we all have in common - gaming (be proud fellow gamers!)

I will be using the Playstation 3 for this as it is the most powerful console power-wise. Now the PS3 is a supercomputer in its own terms for the most powerful processor you can purchase for a desktop computer is around 8-16 GHz. Now console processing power usually doesnt follow Moores Law I am going to take a rough estimate at console power by console generation (if i follow Moores Law the number would be so big it would blow most of your minds).
 So Sony roughly multiplies its consoles processing power by about 10 every generation, I will assume 2 generations have passed in 20 years increasing the processing power from 22.1GHz to 2THz (terahertz which is equivalent to 2000GHz). Now that seems outlandishly excessive but that processing power will be of good use for lets say.. graphics?

Now to avoid the stupidly excessive amount of fanboyism on the internet these days I am not going to use a console for this category, I am instead going to go for the mother of all gaming platforms: The Personal Computer

Now assuming graphics cards will still be around in 20 years and not merged with the processors (which i highly doubt that would happen due to heat dissipation issues which we are currently facing in the present), now  current graphics cards are hovering around 1GHz range so I will assume in 20 years it will be 20 GHz (easy peasy)  Now current generation graphics cards can produce some of the most stunning vidual effects, so lifelike and mind blowing, but we are talking about 20 years down the road, no? So what visualizations could be produced in 20 years? How about resolutions in the hundreds of thousands of pixels all being produced in realtime, framerates out of this world, maybe even particle effects rendered intelligently instead of preprogrammed particle physics. the capabilities are endless.

Now, what are graphics and processing power when you don't have something to control it with? lets move on to the most fun and imaginative portion of this article: Interactivity

We all know the Wii uses motion controls and Microsoft is coming out with Natal, and Sony is combining the two, but lets move a couple steps forward into the future, motion tracking has improved exponentially to the point where each finger can be tracked in realtime to sub-millimeter accuracy with eye tracking, speech and facial recognition, and multi user capability - or maybe - we went the way of many science fiction movies and connect our brain right to the console and control the game with our mind, we become one with the game - we get hit we feel it, we jump into water, we feel wet, we are in a  desert, we feel hot, with the processing power and technological advancements, it may all be possible. But it leaves one question remaining:

What will the games be like?
And that, I will leave you to answer.

Post your thoughts.

II Necroplasm II5082d ago (Edited 5082d ago )

Too bad we will all be dead by the time gaming will be out of this world :(

But then again.. Virtual reality may come sooner than we expect.

Cajun Chicken5081d ago

Crap. Fully immersive games without hand eye co-ordination and input could be the worst thing to happen to gaming. My honest opinion, you've seen half of the games Nintendo doesn't mind licensing on the Wii and DS, that is all that's going to happen. It will be crap, all will be simulations and no actual 'game'.

Cat5080d ago

I think we will all revert to paintball and laser tag. ;)