How realistic can console games become in the future?

It is hard to believe the progress across the world of gaming in the last 10, 20 or even 40 years. We’ve gone from games such as Pong to huge simulations of the real world, and incredible levels of graphic and gameplay detail in a relatively short space of time.

You only have to look at some of the top online casino options such as Pulsz to see some trends in the growth of gaming realism. As more and more people have started to gamble online, developers have made realistic versions of card games and table games for players to enjoy.

The same is true for PC games and PlayStation games. There are many companies out there looking to push the boundaries.

Of course, it is worth noting that realism isn’t the only metric of a great game. Stardew Valley, a game available on PlayStation consoles, looks like it could have been made over 20 years ago, and recently hit 20 million global sales. This certainly proves that not everyone is looking for hyper-realistic graphics or even gameplay.

However, for some games, realism adds a layer of authenticity. Imagine being able to play a sports game that is virtually indistinguishable from real-life sports?

How far can games go in the future?

Realistic graphics

When it comes to graphics, there is really no limit to how realistic games can become. The latest PS5 console has shown us what huge gains have been made recently.

Eventually, there is every chance that it will be very hard to distinguish between a HD video and gameplay footage.

The top gaming companies are getting much better at making realistic versions of some of the things that otherwise make games feel a little clunky.

Some of the things that have really let game developers down historically are body and mouth movements. Think of the manner in which a character in a 90s game might have walked around, and you will understand what we mean.

Consoles are becoming more powerful, software is improving, and ultimately, hyper-realism in terms of the look of a game is only a matter of time – at least for the sort of games that want to take this approach.

The VR experience

VR and AR still aren’t totally mainstream. Though you’ve probably heard far more about them in the last five years, and PlayStation VR (PS VR) has led the way in terms of a VR gaming experience, not everybody has a headset or an interest in playing VR games.

While VR definitely has a huge advantage when it comes to changing the feel of the game and giving players more of a visual experience, it does also have its limitations. For instance, sports games on VR don’t really allow you to move freely, and this can mean that the illusion of being “in” the game can be broken.

We’re not saying VR is a gimmick – there is a lot to love about it and the VR experience will continue to evolve, but it may not ever hit great heights in terms of realism unless you start to add equipment like treadmills and more sensors – at which point, you’d rather just go and play basketball than play an NBA game, right?

AI in games

AI has existed in some form within games for a long time, but not in the “machine learning” sense. If you’ve ever played a sports game you might have used the term “beating the AI” when you play without any human opponents.

In fact, at the moment, it is very hard to properly implement machine learning into games, as there is too much to go wrong. Besides, AI is not necessarily perfect for games.

Julian Togelius recently spoke about this issue in an interview for The Verge:

“Typically when you design the game, you want to design an experience for the player. You want to know what the player will experience when he gets to that point in the game. And for that, if you’re going to put an AI there, you want the AI to be predictable, now if you had deep neural networks and evolutionary computation in there, it might come up with something you had never expected. And that is a problem for a designer.”

Designers can’t plan for every outcome and this means that real neural networks in games would cause a lot of problems and “breakages” in games. However, when the inevitable eventually happens and there is a reliable way to use AI in games and the development of games, then the sky really is the limit. Games could become as realistic as the developers and gamers want them to be.