What Are the Biggest Gaming Trends of 2024?

Gaming innovation was on display at CES (Consumer Electronics Show), a yearly expo showcasing the latest tech. A few technologies, such as AI, are already changing how gamers game. But what does this mean for the gaming industry heading into 2024? Let’s take a look.

How generative AI is shaping the future of gaming in 2024

Gaming companies have not been shy about leveraging generative AI. One stand-out example is Nvidia Avatar Cloud Engine (ACE). ACE uses AI language modeling to generate unique dialogue for in-game non-player characters. This technology is still in its early stages, but could replace pre-scripted dialogue altogether. The possibilities for this type of immersive world-building with AI seem endless.

AI innovations extend to gaming hardware, too. Both Intel and AMD are now building CPUs with neural-processing cores. This chip architecture is tailor made to run generative AI tasks. In its current state, AI is still a long way from creating games by itself. That said, in 2024, engines like Nvidia ACE will likely become commonplace.

VR and AR are changing how people play games

Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) have been around for years. At first, they didn’t quite deliver the revolutionary gaming experience many expected. Headsets like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive had many fans but eventually lost steam. The last hit AR game, “Pokémon Go,” launched in 2016.

Today, VR headsets allow players to experience game worlds as if they were there. Furthermore, haptic controllers can provide tactile feedback, such as vibrations, during play. The good news is that VR and AR gaming are trending again, thanks to headsets like the Meta Quest 3 and Apple Vision Pro.

These headsets weren’t at CES, but techies got hands-on time with new headsets. The star of CES was the Sony XR headset prototype, which features 4K OLED displays for each eye. Companies such as Meta, Sony and Apple have the clout to influence gaming trends. These brands are creating top-tier headsets that show that VR and AR gaming are here to stay.

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On-demand gaming is only getting bigger

The gaming industry has been slow to adopt streaming. That is changing as high-speed internet becomes more accessible. Subscription gaming services such as Game Pass and PS Now are popular this year. These subscription-based platforms allow users to play games on demand without purchasing them.

Cloud-based gaming platforms such as Nvidia GeForce Now are also growing. These run games on server-side hardware, so players don’t need an expensive console or PC. You only need a controller, compatible streaming device and high-speed internet. Because you don’t download games, storage space is not an issue.

Amazon and Netflix responded to this trend by launching their cloud gaming services. Amazon Luna is very affordable, and you can get it for free with a Prime membership. Netflix Games is still in its infancy and is currently limited to mobile devices. However, like Luna, it’s included in your Netflix membership. This accessibility and the vast Amazon and Netflix user bases mean cloud gaming will only grow in 2024.

The biggest social trends in gaming in 2024

Video games have always had a social element, whether playing with friends in person or at an arcade. In 2024, leading social trends in gaming are esports, online multiplayer and streaming. Professional esports is huge now. Games like “Overwatch” and “Fortnite” even have competitive leagues and tournaments.

Today’s biggest esports tournaments are the Esports World Cup, the Honor of Kings Invitational Championship, the Fortnite Champion Series, the International 2024 and the Intel Grand Slam. With tournament cash-prize pools in the millions, it’s safe to say that professional gaming is a big deal in 2024.

Online multiplayer and streaming platforms like Twitch are also fixtures of the gaming landscape. We don’t see these social gaming trends slowing down in an increasingly online world. Unfortunately, that also includes things like hacking and cyberbullying. That is why knowing how to stay safe when gaming online is essential.

One fixture that has disappeared is the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). This was the world’s largest gaming expo until its discontinuation in 2021. The annual Game Developers Conference (GDC) may be the closest comparable event. We hope that in 2024 a true E3 successor will emerge.

Three more gaming trends for 2024

A few extras to keep an eye on this year:

Gaming publishers continue to consolidate. Massive publishers like Electronic Arts, Activision and Microsoft continue to buy development studios. This has not been without controversy. For better or worse, it’s a gaming market trend showing no signs of slowing down.

Remakes and remasters and reboots  of popular games and franchises are still in demand. Some have been great; others, not so much. “Final Fantasy VII” and “Resident Evil 2” are two recent remakes that received a warm reception. Watch for many more coming in 2024. Nostalgia still sells.

Handheld devices may be the future of gaming. Mobile hardware is improving rapidly, so gaming devices can get smaller and smaller. One example is the Nintendo Switch, which redefines what a console can be. Handheld gaming PCs, such as the Steam Deck, have also seen success. Even Microsoft is suggesting that the next Xbox will be a hybrid system. Cloud gaming makes it possible to play games on devices that otherwise couldn’t run them.

The world of video games exists on the cutting edge of innovation. New and emerging technologies like AI and VR are already shaking up the gaming industry in 2024. It’s another great year to be a gamer.

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