Old predictions of the future of gaming

Do you eat candy made from your own underwear? Do you have your own personal helicopter parked on the roof? Do you play 11-player space games around a stand-up cabinet? Neither do we.

Yet that was the future as predicted by 'experts'. But could anyone predict the future of gaming and foresee the wondrous technology us gamers take for granted today? Well, let's take a look, starting almost six decades ago...



Popular Mechanics magazine predicted this back in 1950. Today, every Wii and PlayStation 3 owner can browse not only the likes of clothes and electronics stores over the net, but owners of all the major consoles can buy new games and movies using their machine. There isn't a real person on the other end holding things up to a camera for you, but you can't have everything.

Before the worldwide web was invented, the idea of video conferencing on demand was but a pipe dream. The world of 2000 according to 1950 would be connected, as this excerpt from the same article shows:

These days, we can chat via PSN or Xbox Live or hold conference calls over Skype. It isn't a separate screen for each person, so if anything we've already supassed these expectations. And while documents over a webcam are too hard to read, you can send an attachment via MSN or even attach a .jpg to messages over PSN.

The guesswork improved in the 1960s. A startlingly accurate film from 1967 called '1999 AD' got a lot of things right, cleverly looking at existing technology and following it through to its logical conclusion. While gaming is only briefly mentioned, a lot of the features of modern consoles' abilities such as more shopping through your TV are covered. Here's an extract from YouTube:

The full film is some 25 minutes long, and gets a bit bogged down in food preparation. That said, modern gamers will certainly be familiar with these prophetic images:


Above: Bet the kid wishes they'd gone for the widescreen model

Above: At a party, the hosts share a digital video of a singer they saw

The family has video ready to call up on their TV and even get asked for a copy - a 3D version. Amazing to think the 3D version of the video clip is the only thing that stands out as being beyond our current tech. Oh, but wait - what's this?

Above: The overlay may be crude, but the kid's online. Expect him to start calling everyone 'bitch' any second now...

This boy is playing chess online with his dad. Sure, he's got a physical board in front of him, but there's a big screen display of his moves and obviously some form of wireless data transmission over a network. Bear in mind that in 1967 gaming consisted of a couple of Spacewar! cabinets and very little else even resembling a videogame. Kudos to the filmmakers.

Let's move on to a time when videogames were taking over the world.


  • nik41507 - December 18, 2009 12:59 a.m.

    I just rediscovered this article 7 months and 18 days later
  • GG Gabby - May 4, 2009 3:42 p.m.

    It's great how they tried to predict what would happen in the future.........But the smell your games thing is just
  • pogo - May 3, 2009 12:11 p.m.

    you guys missed the 1970s
  • Styrophoamicus - April 30, 2009 7:43 p.m.

    K that football pic kinda freaked me out. It probably does say SEGA. Call Timecop
  • Gothbot6k - April 30, 2009 10:13 a.m.

    Stupid Dreamcast lol.
  • iKOemos - April 30, 2009 4:21 a.m.

    Really good article, one of the best I have read in a while. This really makes me think about the future and how incredible, expensive or cheap and casual gaming might get.
  • nik41507 - April 29, 2009 11:40 p.m.

    amazing how accurate this is. and i bet that Nintedo is making 2 new consoles at the moment. there that sneaky. amazing article and............ 20TH!!!!!!!!! plus the reCAPTCH right now is "virginal ideas" ?????????
  • vic88 - April 29, 2009 9:51 p.m.

    I predict that 09 will be weaker than 08
  • Demonflare - April 29, 2009 8:57 p.m.

    Dude soon everyones gonna run out of ideas to make more games. So far most of the games in 09 sux. >_< Like movies, their running out of ideas and now movies sux to.
  • peaceful765 - April 29, 2009 4:12 p.m.

    Osbourne books ruled in the eighties. I still have a couple somewhere. Learnt a lotfrom those little robots. I suddenly feel old.
  • NipplesTheSuperHippo - April 29, 2009 3:21 p.m.

    at first I thought this was a joke, a lot of the predictions were almost spot on. The one I was really pondering was the handheld LCD screen. I lolz at the Dreamcast. This was really cool, thanks, and good work.
  • Xplosive59 - April 29, 2009 3:21 p.m.

    it is amazing that gaming has come so far if a movie is 5 years old it is considered recent but in gaming terms 5 years is a millenium
  • Warewullf - April 29, 2009 1:15 p.m.

    "The overlay may be crude, but the kid's online. Expect him to start calling everyone 'bitch' any second now..." I actually, honestly, LOL'd at this.
  • noobeater - May 1, 2009 6:31 p.m.

    @spybreak /\ lol anyway great article and it is really amazing and/or interesting how these visions have been somewhat realised.
  • Spybreak8 - May 1, 2009 4:56 a.m.

    HAHA, just add an antenna to anything and you're wireless pal, boom!
  • JoeMasturbaby - April 30, 2009 9 p.m.

    havnt read an article this great in awhile it seems. beautiful work sir.
  • iluvmyDS - April 30, 2009 2:24 a.m.

    Wow, I can't believe how much of these were realized. It seems predicted gaming technology happens, whereas it hasn't happened in other ways i.e. flying cars and such. captcha: 74' fumbler
  • Mavarious - April 30, 2009 2:19 a.m.

    I predict that in the grand and glorious and nigh unreachable future year of 2030 we'll have games that shoot right into your brain and circumvent the need for a tv. 50 years after that we will have evolved into pure energy form and it won't matter anyway. Yep, that's how it's gonna go down. recaptcha: calm The f*ck down
  • GeneralTickTock - April 30, 2009 1:26 a.m.

    Those 60's. Just HILARIOUS
  • EatShorts8 - April 30, 2009 12:25 a.m.

    :o that 1960's movie was weirdly accurate :/

Showing 1-20 of 33 comments

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