Old predictions of the future of gaming

From 1950 to the noughties, we look back at the history of gaming's future

Yet that wasthe 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 moviesusing 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 of2000 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:



Thefull filmis 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 movesand obviously some form of wireless data transmission over a network. Bear in mind that in 1967 gaming consisted of a couple ofSpacewar! 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.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

The longest-serving GR+ staffer, I was here when all this was just fields. I'm currently Reviews Editor but still find time to speedrun Sonic levels and make daft Photoshop articles.
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