Home entertainment tech is constantly shifting and evolving as new hardware is developed and new experiences emerge to make the most of it.
To make sure that you are not missing out on any boundary-pushing developments, here is a look at the freshest technological advancements aimed at fun-loving consumers.
Mobiles are taking over
Although home entertainment was dominated by a combination of TVs, PCs, and various playback devices for decades, the age of the smartphone has well and truly changed habits in a domestic setting.
You only need to look at the amount of cash that mobile gaming generates each year, easily eclipsing earnings from other platforms, to see just how popular this pastime has become. And while portable devices do allow for gamers to stay entertained while on the move, most are also getting their gaming fix while slouched on the couch at home.
The variety of experiences available on mobile helps to make it particularly appealing as a gaming medium; from slots and table games on Casumo casino to fully-fledged multiplayer titles like Call of Duty, Fortnite, and PUBG, every conceivable genre is represented.
Furthermore, the raw power of modern mobiles is facilitating rapid improvements to the quality of the games themselves, not just in terms of graphics alone but also when it comes to the types of play styles that are available. The second edition iPhone SE, for example, packs the same chipset as the far more expensive iPhone 11, giving it exceptional gaming chops on a budget.
A new console generation is dawning
Before the end of the year, both Microsoft and Sony will have released brand new games consoles, and the hype train is rigorously rattling down the tracks already as the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 have been revealed in detail already.
Microsoft’s machine promises to be the more powerful of the two, and also has a far less controversial design, with its upright obelisk-like exterior making it look more like a small form factor gaming PC than a console. With a custom octa-core AMD chipset, 16GB of RAM and a whole terabyte of solid-state storage, it should be able to push plenty of pixels and boasts support for 8K displays, even if this will require quite a bit of upscaling and behind-the-scenes trickery to achieve in-game.
Sony’s beast is not quite as potent on paper, even if it also uses AMD silicon and 16GB of RAM. It also looks the most outlandish and futuristic of the two, although its aesthetics have divided audiences. Many doubts about its abilities were allayed thanks to a tech demo of Unreal Engine 5 running on PS5 hardware, but even so it seems like Sony will have a turn to be the underdog this generation after dominating with the PlayStation 4 for so long.
Virtual reality is becoming more attainable
While it has been around for years now, VR has so far been a relatively exclusive entertainment technology because of the high cost of the hardware required to enjoy it at its best. The PSVR system from Sony has come closest to making it accessible to all, but even that relied on having a console in addition to the headset itself.
All this changed with the release of the Oculus Quest, a kind of stepping stone VR headset that is entirely self-contained, capable of playing plenty of immersive titles without needing to be hooked up to a powerful PC or console.
The fact that it can play games independently, while also supporting a connection option for those looking for higher frame rates and the graphical fidelity of a hefty gaming rig, gives owners ultimate flexibility. And at the end of the day, this is exactly what the best home entertainment technology should be all about.