The practice of separately “broadcasting” radio, television, telephone, internet, cellular, LAN, satellite, and short-wave has long been a part of our modern history. We have become accustomed to receiving and utilizing services that are broken up into different components. This also applies to the booming sector of internet gaming.
Gaming is big business. Many large companies have been built based on the growing need for higher tech components. Check out these videos of a seriously cool gaming set up.
While it is amazing, it also takes up a lot of space. One of the biggest problems with game room setups is the bulky furniture needed to support all these components; They take up half the room. If that’s not enough of a pain, you have to consider how to stuff the myriad of wires and cables behind the furniture. However, if the room is well laid out, some of these setups are amazing! Some great rooms include recessed speakers, stackable console racks with everything from Atari to Xbox, linked PC and Mac towers, adjustable chairs, stick and wheel controllers, mounted wireless sensors, extended keyboard and mouse trays and monitor arrays reminiscent of the Race and Sports Book room in the Bellagio.
Similarly, the family den has become about as high tech, with DVR cable receivers, stereo/radio receivers and MP3 docks, additional gaming consoles, DVD players, and flat screens televisions all on one side of the room, a computer desk with high-speed internet on the other side, coaxial cables and splitters running under the rug between the two, laptops, smart phones and tablets littering the couches and coffee tables. This is 21st Century living, folks.
Eventually, however, the component model of telecommunications is going to disappear. The likely scenario is satellite beaming of all services for all needs.
Communications technology is leading us in the direction of total convergence: one single media stream that we will all access for different reasons at different times. We’ll talk on the telephone, watch TV, and work on the web over a single platform that we now know of as the Internet, and this signal will likely be carried over satellite, manifesting similarly to what’s now called ubiquitous computing. Ubiquitous Telecom, if you will. The giant wire and fiber optics grid system of yesteryear will go the way of the dinosaur.
As mentioned before, one of the sectors that has already started down this road is gaming. Internet-style gaming is already being delivered via satellite by several companies. Using specialized receivers with specific gaming hardware installed, they are offering (at this point) family-friendly games licensed directly for distribution. Tetris TV, Disney Interactive, and even a hunting simulator are available to customers exclusively on a monthly subscription basis, and unlike the early days of the Internet and cable TV, satellite technology makes these gaming “networks” are available nationwide! The subscription price is low, and there are unlimited play options. As the Internet becomes more widely available via satellite, satellite companies will begin to offer internet-style gaming as well, such as World of Warcraft, right through your TV.
The component-based home entertainment center will soon converge just as the technology it carries will, moving everything into a single satellite receiver. Gaming rooms will soon be media rooms, hybridizing home theater setups with the latest hardcore gameware as home entertainment moves in this direction. Instead of multiple screens, monitors, and consoles taking up the entire room, imagine a gigantic screen wrapping around three of four walls. You’ll have movies, gaming, the web, and video chat – in 3D without the necessity of glasses – viewable and usable from an automated chair synched to the signal and reacting interactively to the situation being played out via the technology. You can expect the full potential of Virtual Reality to come to fruition in a complete sensory experience.
And the best part? Given man’s tendencies thus far, you’ll be able to shrink that vision into a tablet. Like what you’re imagining? Then eat healthy so you’ll be here to actually see it – it won’t be long!