Unless you’ve been living under a rock, there is a three-letter-single-digit answer to the video gaming trend we’re likely to see in 2024. We’ll get back to this later on but, for now, it’s probably a good idea to see where we’re at to make a considered prediction.
Before that, though, let’s see where we were.
Video gaming became popular at the tail end of the 1970s. In the home, plug-in consoles that offered very crude sports games, like Pong, faced off coin-operated arcade games like Asteroids and Space Invaders. It was typically something to do while you were bored, rather than a highly engaging simulation so there was plenty of room for improvement.
Space Invaders was further ahead of its time than it may appear. Believe it or not, it introduced background music, bonuses and high scores to a new generation of gamers.
It also made over 3.8 million dollars, so it would seem that ‘space’ was the first popular video game genre. This was followed by maze-style and platform games in the 80s, like PacMan and Donkey Kong which dominated video games until the mid-90s.
By now, the coin-operated arcade games had been replaced by consoles and PC games. Realistic 3D graphics changed the game again with more dedicated RPG and fantasy games taking players to new worlds.
The mid 90’s also saw the emergence of online games, an environment ideal for casino style games like slots and blackjack with fans dreaming of winning the jackpot every time they logged in. While the games in the casino gaming industry have improved drastically, they still offer the same great reward, some of the highest paying online providers have gained a reputation for looking after their customers with bonuses and new games on their site on a regular basis. Reputable game developers such as Red Tiger Gaming, renowned for crafting exceptional titles like Primate King, have significantly contributed to the industry’s evolution.
For the sports and racing games that characterised the early noughties, the console was still king.
From 2015, the first-person shooter game has been the one to watch. In 2020 this genre saw a 40% share of the market, and it remains popular to the present.
However, that doesn’t mean its future-proof, so let’s have a peek into 2024 and see what’s what.
VR has been a sort of gaming elephant in the room for over a decade. And every year it’s predicted to be the next big thing.
2024 could even be its make-or-break year -in the short term at least. Why? Apple are due to launch their own headset, the VisionPro.
What sets this apart is that the headset almost looks cool. And it offers users a truly immersive VR experience.
But there is still the question as to why VR hasn’t revolutionised gaming -even the pre-sale bumf for the VisionPro seems at pains to not mention games. The reasons for this aren’t down to one specific thing, but one argument is you can have too much reality.
It’s one thing to play Resident Evil via a TV and console. And another to feel as if you’re actually about to be killed by a real zombie…
The PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S have ensured that console gaming is, despite the rise of online games, still incredibly popular.
This is down to the quality of both the games and the almost future-proof nature of the consoles. When you think that the PS4 alone is a decade old and you can still buy it brand new -and new games- should say something.
However, the real winner when it comes to consoles is the Nintendo Switch which specialises in games for younger players. It both precedes and supersedes the above by offering exclusive game franchises, and superb graphics combined with a simple portability.
It’s reckoned that six million people bought a second Switch during the lockdown. Though how it’ll fare in an ongoing post-pandemic world remains to be seen, especially given its exclusive game franchises.
Sure, the Switch supports such popular franchises as Pokémon Mario and Zelda, but there are games like Minecraft and Roblox that also appeal to younger players. The latter games, which are incredibly popular in the 8 to 15 market, can be easily played on tablets and smartphones and don’t require a console.
The same can be said for casino-style games that generate billions from what are relatively simple formulas. The point here is that the game drives demand for the format, so when a trailer was leaked for Grand Theft Auto V1 (GTA6) only available on the PS or X/S, everything changed.
If you want an idea of a gaming trend in 2024, look no further than there. The first trailer for GTA6 set a new record after generating more than 93 million views in 24 hours.
And Rockstar who make the game have already predicted record profits for 2025. So it would seem likely that GTA6 won’t just dominate 2024, it’s going to be a game-changer.
Based on the above, we can say with some certainty that the console, specifically the PS5 and X/S, will reign supreme with the Switch on the back foot.
As for VR, sure, it could do well for itself in a non-gaming context. But in terms of smashing the gaming market in 2024, not a chance.