More people than ever are playing video games, using their smartphones, tablets, consoles, computers, and even VR headsets. As a result, hardware manufacturers and software developers are enjoying bumper profits. Thanks to this, 2021 was another big year for gaming and 2022 is shaping up to be another lucrative 12 months for the industry.
Here are some of the things we can expect to see this year.
Hardware Shortages and Novel Solutions
Getting your hands on a gaming graphics card has been a difficult task for several years now. As fast as manufacturers get these specialist processing chips out for sale, they’re snapped up at ever-increasing prices.
There are several factors at play here. The most publicized cause is the global chip shortage that’s making it more difficult for GPU manufacturers to have supply match demand. This particular issue only came about in 2020, but hardware shortages have been occurring for much longer.
That’s because high-end graphics cards aren’t just wanted by gamers. They’re also needed by cryptocurrency miners who link multiple cards together to have them crunch numbers round the clock in the hope of being rewarded with digital money.
Meanwhile, scalpers are buying up stock using automated bots which can navigate through the steps of an eCommerce transaction faster than a human. They then either sit on the cards to drive up the price or sell them straight away for an immediate profit.
Unfortunately, this issue doesn’t look like it will abate anytime soon, so 2022 is likely to be another year in which gamers spend ages trying to buy new hardware to play the latest games on. However, there are some novel solutions emerging that could make this somewhat easier.
One of these is to use software to create virtual machines that can share a single graphics card’s resources so that you and your friends can each play games without all having to hunt for hardware. You don’t need to plug multiple gaming monitors into the same PC with this either; instead, you can stream the games to other machines over a LAN or the internet.
Growing Demand for iGaming
iGaming continues to go from strength to strength as the industry grows existing markets and develops new ones. The United States is one great example of this, where many people are gaining access to iGaming services for the first time.
On top of that, online casinos are continuing to innovate with new ideas for games and novel ways for their customers to play them. 2022 will likely be another big year for slot games, with their creators taking inspiration from just about every conceivable source to make titles that will appeal to as many players as possible. In recent years, we’ve seen everything from fishing-themed options that feature blue waters, boats, rods, and aquatic creatures to slots that are based on Hollywood movies like Ted and Superman.
We can expect even more of this throughout this year, along with innovative takes on card and table games like blackjack and roulette that create new challenges for players.
More and Better VR
Virtual reality gaming has been around for about a decade now, but it is only in the last couple of years that it has become accessible to general users. The Oculus Quest and Quest 2 are standalone headsets that allow users to play games without being connected to a PC or smartphone.
2022 is expected to be a big year for virtual reality gaming. Meta plans to release a successor to the Quest (known as Project Cambria), which is rumoured to make big strides forward in graphics, battery life, comfort, and more.
In tandem with this, even more content should become available for VR gamers as software companies place more focus on the medium.
One game that many people are anticipating is the virtual reality version of Grand Theft Auto San Andreas. During his October 2021 announcement that Facebook would be changing its name and investing $10 billion into developing the metaverse, Mark Zuckerberg also told the world that his company was working on recreating this best-selling game in an immersive 3D environment.
No more details have been released, but fans will be hoping for a 2022 launch, perhaps alongside the company’s new headset.