GDC is the largest game developer conference in the world. It is the conference for devs to talk shop, announce products, demo games, network and party. It’s clear that GDC helps to determine the future of gaming. And things are pointing mobile.
Mobile just won’t stop growing. It should come as no surprise that this year was the strongest year for mobile at GDC. A total of 57 sessions this year were focused on mobile. 57!
With further ado, here are the biggest announcements from last week:
Virtual Reality Takes Front Seat
Oculus, Sony, HTC, Valve and Samsung all have virtual reality headsets to show this year. Make no mistake, VR will be in living rooms. Possibly as soon as holiday 2015.
The most impressive VR stuff shown at GDC will likely find a place on home video game consoles. But that doesn’t mean mobile was left out. Oculus has updated their own mobile SDK, which is helpful for use with Samsung’s Gear VR product.
The Gear VR uses the Galaxy Note 4 as the display. An early version is available now, giving developers a consumer product for which to build, while waiting for advancement in the mobile 3D space. Most recently, mobile dev DeNA released one of their more recent games, Protocol Zero, for the Gear VR back in January.
Free Game Engines for All
The startup costs of creating a game just became a whole lot cheaper. Epic, Unity and Crytek all announced entirely free or free versions of their game engines. These are engines that used to cost thousands of dollars to license. Now, anybody can at least try out the tools.
We’re most excited for Unity’s new engine, Unity 5, since we’re more likely to see mobile games coming from its engine. It’s never been easier to get into game development.
Nvidia Announces Set-top Android Console
We’ve already seen Ouya’s attempt to take the small screen and bring it to the big one. If you didn’t know, Ouya is the Kickstarted console that brings Android games to living room TVs. And to be honest, Ouya is still trying. Now, Nvidia is attempting to not only to do the same, but add in AAA games, too. This makes even more players investing in mobile as a part of a larger screen experience.
The Nvidia Shield runs on Android with games available for download or via a subscription service for streaming. In addition to being a gaming device, the Shield can work with a Chromecast, making it a hybrid Roku box gaming console. It’s an interesting device trying to do many things in one box.
That’s it! These are the three biggest announcements that all have one thing in common. Each one carves out a serious piece of the pie for mobile. The mobile gaming industry has never been stronger.
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