The first obvious thing is that game guides will probably move to tablets and smartphones in app form more and more now. They offer an interactive way to provide the gamer with hints and tips, even walkthroughs of how to complete the game and do it in a user friendly way that makes it easy to use. Further extensions of this will be to add in videos to the apps to give the users a better understanding of how to do certain tasks in the games and help them progress. The key here of course is to make use of the devices in a way as to keep the games enjoyable without spoiling them.
As devices get more powerful there will always be voices in the industry that make an argument that the tablets and phones should replace consoles and be the new gaming machines of the future. I’m a person who will argue against this happening, but I will offer the counter argument that these devices should be further integrated with consoles. Smartglass is a prime example of an idea that can be further extended into gaming to add more enjoyment. Users can use the devices as an extension to the interface they already have with their controller, which is of course something that has been investigated with the Wii U, although this is part of the console itself arguably and not a separate device. It still shows though examples of how a tablet like device can be used within the games to further the experience.
Although these examples have looked at ways to further the console experience there is also the idea that the game can be played on all of these devices and progress made within the game (the game is present on all the devices and gameplay continues independently of the device). This is possible now especially through online multiplayer games, but there is still a lot of progress that can be made in this field.
The future of gaming in this style, be it to provide hints and tips, gameplay enhancements or interaction with the game through a multiple number of devices and consoles comes down to one restriction and that is the different companies who control the devices. There will also of course be the compatibility with the software and the server resources to allow for such integration, but for the future of gaming it’s arguable that the games should not be dependent on the hardware itself but that they should just be the interface to it (for multi-player gaming at least) and for this to ever happen it’s arguable that the big companies in control would have to learn to work together more for the gamers, and not the profit.