This year’s keynote speech by Ray Kurzweil at the 2008 Game Developers Conference addressed quite an important topic: the next 20 years in gaming. Given the subject, we thought we would celebrate this event by whipping out our own crystal balls and make an attempt to predict what just may (or in this case probably won’t) happen in the future of gaming. So read on as we tell you what will really happen in the games industry 20 years from now.
The Four-Way Format War
The war between HD-DVD and Blu Ray was not the first format war, and unfortunately not the last either. In the future, consumers will riot and scrounge hopelessly through an apocalyptic entertainment store as the battle is raged between not two, not three, but four competing formats! They will include the Sony-backed Red Ray, HTDTVDITGDVD, Purple Ray, and the underdog Lemon. Unfortunately, we cannot describe the aspects of these new formats, but can assure you that the war will totally be worth while and in no way a waste of anyone’s time or money.
Sony Ups Console Pricing Again
Years from now, when Sony is set to release the PlayStation 10, they will repeat the bold moves of today by pushing the boundaries of retail pricing yet again, offering their latest console for the sum of $10,000. Sony will attempt to justify such a high price by including all of the features originally promised with the PlayStation 7, 8 and 9. The console will also take advantage of the Sony supported Red Ray format, which will be at a lower cost than the standalone player which retails for $30,000.
Nintendo Introduces the Wii-Feel
Years after the Nintendo Wii is eventually able to be found on store shelves (and we do mean years), Nintendo will release the Wii-Feel. The new feature will introduce a functionality where players will be able to physically feel any damage inflicted upon them in the game to make the experience all the more immersive. Sales of all games supporting the new feature are strong except for the latest version of Manhunt.
Cliffy B and Jade Raymond Marry
In what will become the gaming industry’s first celebrity couple, these two young and attractive industry icons will be united under the bonds of holy matrimony. Unfortunately, like all other celebrity marriages, theirs is eventually broken off and a fierce custody battle ensues over their two adopted African children, Marcus and Altair.
Major Nelson Promoted
Decades into the future, Larry Hryb is still a part of the Xbox crowd, but he has been promoted to General Nelson, giving him total responsibility for the Xbox Live network. Years later when nearing death, the General’s consciousness will be absorbed into Live itself, so that he can forever inform users of new Marketplace content. Sadly, the spiritual entity of the General will be lost in yet another Live outage.
Nintendo Brain Age: College Edition
Students graduating from high school will no longer have to move away from home in the future, leaving their parents with high tuition costs. Instead, they can remain at home with a copy of Brain Age: College Edition and receive their Bachelor’s Degree in a variety of subjects ranging from English Literature, Psychology, and Chemistry. An expansion pack will be required for graduate studies. On a related note, it will be possible to attend medical school through the latest version of Trauma Center.
MS Point Inflation
Due to an overwhelming amount of content on the marketplace, and so many members, the currency of Xbox Live enters a period of inflation. Due to this every Microsoft point will be worth $20 dollars US. This sends Live into the first online depression which has gamers flooding into retail stores trying to get their MS cards refunded for any value they can. Tragically, some gamers will commit suicide over the regret of purchasing gamer pics and themes for film Jumper, if they had only known how worthless their purchase originally was.
L337 SpeakBecomes an Official Language
It turns out Webster’s recognition of ’w00t’ as an official word will not be an isolated incident, but will set in motion the recognition of the entire L337 Speak vocabulary as an official language in North America. As a result, all gaming packages must have a section of L337 speak but not manuals, as those familiar with the language are so technologically adept and are not in need of n00b literature. In response to the widespread use of the language, gaming and technology enthusiasts come up with a new version of L337 speak in order to separate themselves from the pack. This new version known as Elite Speak, will involve () || |_ ’/ $ ’/ |/| |3 () |_ $ ("Only Symbols," for you lesser beings).
Game Companies Invade Time
While advertising is just about everywhere, game companies will enter into a new realm by breaking through the barriers of time itself to create established brand awareness with ease. In the year 2023 time travel will be discovered, bringing a new dimension to corporate marketing. The big three - Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony - will all use this new technology to meddle with the timeline so that whatever console currently out has a historical precedent far back in the past that can be used for monetary gain. Stone carved receipts for Nintendo hardware found in dried out lake beds where they had apparently been "throw away." Finally, the crew of Eagle 7 will discover, when Neil Armstrong makes his famous landing on the Moon, that the American flag originally packed has been replaced with one featuring the Xbox Logo.
Harmonix Develops “Symphony Orchestra”
For those that have more appreciation for the world of classical music comes Harmonix’s Symphony Orchestra, which will once again push the boundaries of the music game genre. The game will incorporate every instrument of a live orchestra so you and your other hundred friends will be able to live out the fantasy of playing legendary symphonies by Wagner, Mozart, and Beethoven.
We hope you enjoyed our look into the next 20 years of gaming, and maybe even one or two of these things will end up happening. Of course, some of these events resemble the times of today, but remember that history repeats itself.