This week much of the news has revolved around E3 2019, with announcements of powerful new consoles, impressive-looking AAA titles, and developments on the hardware and computing side of things.

It’s perhaps fortuitous then that local distributor Rectron has taken a look at the current trends in the gaming world, and how these will shape things for local consumers throughout the rest of 2019.

Lending his opinion is Rectron product director, Matthew Hall.

“Current trends are positively reshaping the gaming experience, transforming virtual to reality through ICT innovation. As the gaming industry evolves, gaming enthusiasts are increasingly devouring cutting-edge technology,” he says.

So what are the illuminating gaming trends to be aware of for the remainder of 2019? Here’s what Hall has brought to our attention.

Big money

The first trend, perhaps unsurprisingly, is that there is even more money being spent on games than ever before, with developers matching the investments that players and consumers are making.

To that end last year’s industry was made up of an estimated 2.3 billion people, with an even more impressive $138 billion being spent of games during 2018. In South Africa, PwC says over R3 million was spent on gaming in 2017, with videogames being the fastest growing entertainment sector locally at 16.8 percent.

All this spending from consumers is prompting developers to push the boundaries of gaming, with ray tracing in particular being the latest frontier on the computing side of things, as manufacturers aim to give developers the best canvases on which to create their titles.

Cross-platform 

Shifting away from the spend, Hall says that one of the big trends at the moment is cross-platform multiplayer, as players want to interact with other gamers who may be playing the same title on a different platform.

Fortnite has been the biggest contributor to this trend in Hall’s view.

“Games like Fortnite pulled in a whopping 250 million players in March alone. Plus, global playing time reached 2.7 billion between May and June 2018,” he says.

“Cross-platform games allow players on both PC and console to compete online. From a gaming standpoint, it doesn’t get much better than this as you can play with your friends who don’t have a PC,” adds Hall.

Setup for streaming

The next trend is an extension of something that currently resides in the industry, with current PC gaming setups at home now integrating streaming as well.

Whether it be optimising your current setup to better enjoy streaming content, or buying peripherals to stream on platforms like Twitch yourself, streaming is very much a key trend for the industry moving forward.

High-end machines

Speaking of setups, it looks like gamers are more willing to upgrade their systems to the best possible configuration than they have in previous years.

“Dedicated gamers still prefer to go for high-end machines powered by the 20 series cards, like the 2060s and 2070s. On the processing power front, there has been major demand for the new Intel 9th gen processors, which are currently available in i5, i7 and i9,” explains Hall.

As such premium pricing is becoming part and parcel of the experience should you wish to have uncompromised gaming on-hand, according to the Rectron exec.

Going wireless

Another trend fighting greater footing on the peripherals side is wireless, with the technology having come a long way of late in Hall’s view.

“Comfort, precision and style are all key factors when it comes to wireless mice, keyboards and headsets, all offering RGB solutions which allows for customisation and individual expression,” he says.

Headsets too are embracing wireless, with Hall pointing to offerings like the Corsair Void Pro and Cooler Master MH752 in particular, for their full surround and wireless experience.

Comfort

Given how much more time gamers are dedicating to their hobby or craft, it’s clear to see why comfort is a growing trend.

“Gamers are opting for ergonomic chairs to combat physical discomfort. But taking it a step further, are chair likes Corsair’s T2 Road Warrior and Cooler Master’s R1, providing lumbar and neck support, and they are available in a range of colours and various changeable settings,” Hall notes.

“As for headsets, gamers seek comfort and sound over a variety of other features. Why? Well, imagine an hour into gaming and your headset starts to hurt, the rest of the features don’t really matter,” he adds.

Top notch accessories

Lastly, Hall highlights the desire for more premium accessories becoming a growing trend this year. Where the gaming rig got more attention in the past, the accessories that accompany are becoming equally important, according to the product director.

“Gamers want the best screen with a high refresh rate, so 144hz screens are quickly becoming the norm, and for good reason. The fast response time and liquid smooth feel is immediately apparent from the very first use. There has also been a noticeable increase in demand for larger screen boasting a higher resolution,” Hall adds.

“This year has we have seen many advances in the tech space, with new gaming trends emerging and catapulting existing ones into new dimensions, transforming and enhancing gamers experience. All-in-all, 2019 is chalking up to be a great year for gaming,” Hall enthusiastically concludes.

[Image – Photo by Banter Snaps on Unsplash]
When he's not reviewing the latest smartphones, Robin-Leigh is writing about everything tech-related from IoT and smart cities, to 5G and cloud computing. He's also a keen photographer and dabbles in console games.