2030 gaming predictions: AI, cloud, and subscriptions drive market expansion

How will the video games market evolve in 2030 and beyond? We make some ambitious predictions on what gaming could look like in the Gen11 console period.

2 minutes & 38 seconds read time

AI-powered consoles may be on the horizon for Gen10, but what will the video games market look like in Gen11 and beyond? How will gaming evolve in 2030 onward? We have some ideas.

2030 gaming predictions: AI, cloud, and subscriptions drive market expansion 20302

Every new console generation brings major new innovations to gaming. The Gen8 console market introduced multi-game subscriptions, a shift towards digital, and a wealth of new games. Gen9, the current generation that includes the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S, delivered major technological innovations like robust backwards compatibility, new graphics capabilities, and faster loading via SSDs. Gen10, which could start as soon as 2027 with a new Xbox console, may be centered around artificial intelligence with dedicated AI-acceleration via chips with NPUs (Neural Processing Unit).

AI-enabled consoles could become a foundation for multiple shifts across Gen11 and beyond, assuming consoles aren't phased out in Gen10 (I don't think this is likely for a number of reasons).

The market could evolve significantly between Gen10 and Gen11. The help of major innovations in cloud and AI infrastructure could propel ecosystem expansion to new heights, offering interesting new features and layered business models.

Below I have included my major predictions for gaming in 2030 and beyond:

  • Interactive video/Game Jump features - Trailers aren't enough. Consumers are using cloud to sample games. What if you could take control and play a trailer? Sony's innovative 'Game Jump' patents could make it happen.
  • New social vectors - The Game Jump feature could theoretically allow gamers to create "game slices" and share their own game saves. For example, a gamer could experience a high-stakes boss battle with a particular build, and share that save point with another person who owns the game. That person would then be able to "jump" right into the creator's save point and experience the game with the creator's character. This could spark a bustling social infrastructure that's full of interactive sharing.
  • Deep UGC monetization - Multiplayer online content will allow users to create and sell in-game items, designs, and content. This could tie into Game Jumps and allow users to sell their own save files for money.
  • Next-gen UI - This goes beyond HW and is more ecosystem-based. Unified UI/UX across all endpoints, optimized for those endpoints, offering unique visual designs, styles, customization options, and interactivity via subscription, software, and even HW-based.
  • Deep AI integration - Much of the backend of feature sets will be dependent on AI, whether it be DLSS-like acceleration of graphics, critical handling of telemetry data, or making deeper, more personalized recommendations/customization options for operators and consumers.
  • Ad-based monetization - Ads are now everywhere. Mobile ad tech has found its way onto consoles and directly onto subscription services. Xbox, PlayStation, and Nintendo will all offer lower-cost ad-supported tiers. You will have many opportunities to spend time watching ads in exchange for play time.
  • Direct-to-TV game streaming - Consoles still exist, and still provide substantial performance benefits, but a growing portion of gaming has moved to the cloud and is delivered directly to TV screens. Display tech will further evolve and will become a major direct endpoint for gaming.
  • Cloud-only gaming experiences - Cloud games are starting to break into the market. Hideo Kojima's OD will pave the way for cloud gaming, but Call of Duty or another big-name franchise has introduced a "Warzone watershed moment," e.g. a major breakthrough that transforms not only cloud gaming, but the limitations of gaming as a whole (think better graphics, higher player counts, tighter optimizations, etc).
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Derek joined the TweakTown team in 2015 and has since reviewed and played 1000s of hours of new games. Derek is absorbed with the intersection of technology and gaming, and is always looking forward to new advancements. With over six years in games journalism under his belt, Derek aims to further engage the gaming sector while taking a peek under the tech that powers it. He hopes to one day explore the stars in No Man's Sky with the magic of VR.

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