The Future of MMO Gaming?
The past, the present, the future?
I remember my first MMO, and like a lot of you, it was "Runescape". The quests are repetitive, the monsters to easy to kill, the graphics are horrible and the player community is rude, but we wouldn't have it any other way from Runescape.
MMO's have come along way since the days of 'ole, Runescape, World of Warcraft, Perfect World, Mabinogi and countless other MMO's that most of us have fallen victim to at one time or another.
Most of the online games that I've played were pretty bad, some were alright; nothing spectacular, but pretty good at least. I will be one of the first to admit that I have gotten hooked on a few of them, a few were even what I would call boarder line amazing. I have spent many a-night hacking my way through hoards upon hoards of demons, monsters, wolves, bears, angles and many other creatures that may-or-most-likely-may-not have tried to kill me first (hey bro, those cows were asking for it,) just to be at the verge of collapsing from sleep deprivation at work the next day. But if I'm not going out that night, there is a good chance that I am probably going to be found playing some form of video game, usually a computer game, and I find no fault with that.
But the true question is, where is online gaming going?
With the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One just around the corner it makes you wonder if Consoles will start to try and break into the MMO business, and I think it is highly plausible.
Ever since the PlayStation 2 and the original Xbox, consoles have been playing online. Mostly it's mindless shooter video games like "Call of Duty" and "Battlefield", but hey, who doesn't like shooting random people from around the world? Even the PS3 has already started to incorporate an actual MMO, the PS3 has a free to download version of the popular MMO "DC Universe Online" and from reports it has become a popular download. (I actually play DCU Online on the computer, add my hero if you play. Username: Hells Marine.)
With the power of consoles increasing it is only a matter of time before we see a Console Exclusive MMO. Some Xbox 360 and PS3 games are already ORPG capable. Consoles are getting steadily stronger and stronger it's only a matter of time before they reach the point to have a full MMO. With the specs for the new systems being released during the E3 Coverage, the outlook seems pretty good, Sony is boasting that the new PlayStation will have the most powerful console hard drive and graphics card to date.
Putting an MMO was already partially attempted before, back on the PS2 there was a game series called ".Hack//." ".Hack//" simulated an actual MMO experience on a console, with no internet connection required. Due to the tech available at the time it did the best it could, and I would have to say that it did fairly well. The company that developed it; CyberConnect2, even went so far as to make an actual ORPG version of it for the PS2 called .Hack//Fragment Online X Offline. It was almost a full online MMO on the PS2 and lasted exactly a year, then the CC2 shut it down with the closing statement being "Fragment was an experiment that was well liked by players and seems to be a viable option of gaming in the future when we can make it easier to access the internet via gaming consoles." This can only lead me to believe that they are going to make another similar game sometime in the future when the Consoles can handle it.
Ladies and Gentleman, I have seen the future, and it is bright.
With improvements in technology as of late gaming is also improving.
Games on mobile devices such as smart phones has been steadily increasing. Smartphones, tablets and even the new Google Glasses.
I have actually tried out a few MMO's on the Google Play app store, most were horrid, but some are actually decent. Google has been getting steadily more involved in the gaming industry. I have actually recently started playing this new app that has been put out on the Google Play store called Ingress. So far it is actually pretty entertaining. The idea of the game is you walk/run/drive around your actual town collecting "XM" and claiming "Portals" and linking them together. The story is also very good. There are two Waring factions and you pick your side, and go against the other. There is actually a guy that lives a block from me that plays the game for the opposite faction. He keeps stealing my portals and it's starting to tick me off. Right now it's in closed beta, but I will provide a link where you can request a password to play.
Another promising thing that I am waiting for mass production are the "Google Glasses." If you've ever played the ".Hack//" games or seen the Anime, or seen "Sword Art Online" than you know that the tech portrayed in those series, is just about here. This is what we've all been waiting for, a pair of glasses that show the screen on the lenses, with full internet capabilities. If they allow linking with a Game Controller than it will be exactly what we need for a fully immersible MMO that gamers have been waiting years for.
Google Glasses promo
I can't wait.
Just think, sooner or later we will have fully immersive MMO's. If we were to combine things like the "Google Glasses", "Xbox Connect Camera", and a mixture of the "PS3 Wands" and the "Wii-Motes" we would be able to create fully 3D digital worlds for gaming of all types. Imagine playing "Battlefield" like that, or "The Elder Scrolls", even something like .Hack//!
I wont be satisfied until I can lay in my bed, put on a headset of some sort (controller optional), go into "Sleep Mode" and dream an online game. How awesome would it be to completely enter a gaming world with your entire consciousness? I know I keep coming back to the .Hack// series, but that series shows us what online gaming has the potential to be, and god damnit it's teased me for years. I want a game like that, and I want it soon! I hope that someday before I am too old to figure out how the tech works, that it comes out so that I can play it without having my children or grandchildren teaching me how it all works.
The future is coming people, and I cannot wait.