Games that can communicate intelligently with players will be the next landmark advance in gaming, according to industry legend Robert J. Mical.
But virtual reality headsets were less likely to take off a big way, Mical, who is best known for co-inventing the Atari Lynx and the 3DO Interactive multiplayer, told CNBC at the EmTech Asia conference in Singapore on Wednesday.
A 32-year veteran of the gaming industry and currently director of games at Google, Mical said, “The next generation of games are going to have machine intelligence built into them [ with] the ability to really communicate with humans.”
Mical said he expected virtual reality entities to become a part of peoples’ experiences with technology. Such experiences could range from a simple assistant that helped people shop more effectively, to an intelligent entity that could become a companion to the user, he predicted.
“However, that part of virtual reality where you have to wear something over your eyes, I’m more dubious about that becoming popular because it takes something away from you,” he added.
Games will also pave the way for new technologies to take root in other industries, something that is already taking place at Google, he said.
Mical explained that the gaming research department helped other Google divisions use gaming concepts in their interfaces, which could increase the number of users and keep users interested in a product for longer.
“It’s always got to be about games first, and with technology we can refine the work we’re developing for games, and [help] it work well for everything else,” said Mical.
Graphics, audio, Internet connectivity and even e-commerce all “came into existence because of gaming,” he noted, calling games the “proving ground for technology.”