2012 was a big year for gaming technology. While there haven’t been a ton of technological advancements completed, quite a few have now been publicly shown or advanced considerably. We take a look at our favorite gaming technologies shown off in 2012.
1 Oculus Rift Prototype (from Oculus VR)
Why? Oculus VR & Palmer Luckey showed us the first enjoyable and emersive virtual reality experience this year. Low latency, highly accurate head tracking, coupled with unprecedented field of view and depth make Oculus Rift a breakthrough technology in the same way using a mouse for computer games was. It’s garnered the support of thousands of gamers via its Kickstarter, not to mention game industry luminaries including John Carmack, Michael Abrash and Gabe Newell. We’re excited to see how The Rift technology not only changes gaming within the next few months, but also over the next few years as VR is perfected.
2 Wii U (from Nintendo)
Why? The new gameplay possibilities for the Wii U Gamepad are practically limitless. Nintendo as usual is taking risks and breaking bounderies for how we play games. The Gamepad not only allows developers to clear up the playing screen by utilizing the second screen, it also allows you to play games right on it. Shigeru Miyamoto is already researching ways to use it as a game controller for his own first person adventure. If that’s not enough, Nintendo’s Miiverse has also given us a creative way to allow gamers to communicate and connect not only with traditional text communication, but also with drawings, in game notes and more.
3 Luminous Engine (from Square Enix)
Why? Square Enix showed us incredible real time graphics for the next generation of games. We’re about to arrive at the generation of games where you’ll start wondering if you’re looking at a game or a live action film. The “Agni’s Philosophy – FINAL FANTASY REALTIME TECH DEMO” which was debuted at this years E3 was a show stopper which left industry experts and gamers impressed. If this is Square Enix’s idea of a proof of concept, then we are excited for what’s to come.
4 Unreal Engine 4 (from Epic Games)
Why? As graphics get better and better, the amount of labor required for those graphics increase. Epic is working on ways to automate graphics and animation work for developers which will hopefully stabalize game development costs. Displayed in an impressive fiery demo at this years E3, the Unreal Engine 4 boasts a lot of familiar features that have made UE3 a hit, but also some new things including advancements in real-time global illumination, more efficient code and the ability to test games at a much faster pace.
5 FOX Engine (from Kojima Productions)
Why? We’re all impressed with utilizing future resources for something bigger… but what about maximizing our current technology? Kojima Productions is set on making your PS3 and Xbox 360 look next gen. The Metal Gear Solid Ground Zeroes demo shown at the Metal Gear Solid 25th Anniversary event fooled many by being announced as a current gen title. It’s beautiful and detailed. It shows that there’s still a little juice left to be squeezed out of the current gen, and tons to be done in the next gen.