After a tremendous year of gaming in 2018, it was always going to be difficult for 2019 to match or even beat the standards set by the year before. Even though we’ve experienced some lulls, there’s been a lot of top-quality game releases and reveals, and we have very high expectations and predictions for E3 2019. Gaming has progressed or alluded to its upcoming progression a great deal already this year, so, let’s dig into all of the triumphs that the world of gaming has achieved so far this year, and have a peep at what’s to come.
The first big steps into streaming
One of the biggest announcements of the year was Google unveiling its plans to lay siege to the industry through Google Stadia. Planned to be a subscription service filled with triple-A games, in theory, players will be able to simply stream to any TV, laptop, mobile, tablet, or desktop and play the game via the Google Stadia controller. The service is set for release later this year and, if it works well, could make gaming more accessible due to the lack of upfront costs for consoles and big-name games.
Streaming games isn’t something new and is quite popular across other platforms, with new casino features making online gaming seamless, and it’s something that another major company wants to muscle in on. Apple will launch the Apple Arcade this year, which will be another gaming subscription service. Boasting many high-quality games, the Apple Arcade will allow subscribers to play games online and even download some for offline use.
A concerted push for virtual reality gaming
When it first launched, the PlayStation VR headset did quite well but, like many other fads Sony has tried to push into the mainstream, it faded from mainline gaming for a while. Now, PlayStation has announced a slew of exciting, top-class titles coming to VR in the hope of rejuvenating it as a legitimate way to play. These games include Marvel’s Iron Man, a VR mode for No Man’s Sky, Five Nights at Freddy’s, and Blood & Truth.
But PlayStation isn’t the only platform looking to bring VR to the fore. Many of the new casinos in 2019 are fuelled by NetEnt and may be able to offer the latest casino technologies of VR slot gaming with Gonzo’s Quest VR, which is set to launch later this year. Also, Nintendo has been utilizing its Labo Kits and hybrid Switch console to introduce a very player-friendly and unique way to enjoy VR gaming, which could become a gateway for players down the line.
Single-player games rise again
It wasn’t long ago, around 2016 and 2017, that “industry experts” and huge companies like Electronic Arts spoke of the death of single-player and story-driven games with the rise of all-multiplayer experiences and live service games. But it appears as though this has merely inspired top-class developers to create even bigger and better single-player titles. Last year was massive for the supposedly deceased form of gaming, and this year is shaping up to be just as strong.
So far, we’ve already had almighty games not focussed on online play like Resident Evil 2, Metro Exodus, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, Days Gone, Yoshi’s Crafted World, Total War: Three Kingdoms, Kingdom Hearts III, and Super Mario Bros. Deluxe U, among many others. Still to come is Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3, Jedi: Fallen Order, Pokémon Sword, Pokémon Shield, Gears 5, Ancestors: Humankind Odyssey, and, of course, the hotly anticipated Death Stranding. This is all while EA live service games like Anthem flopped tremendously and Apex Legends declined after the company stopped paying streamers to play it live.
The world of gaming continues to get bigger and better with some truly innovative games and ways to play arriving in 2019.