The future of tech in gaming is often debated, those suggesting what styles may come into popularity next with changes in software tech, or changing hardware that could also encourage change in the future – whilst it does seem mobile will be the clear favorite to continue pushing forward with popular genres like some options here for example in games of chance, it could in fact be more dedicated devices seeing the comeback of some old favorites as couch and local play co-op options could be on the horizon in the future. 

Couch co-op and local play games aren’t exactly future tech, for some it’s a nostalgic hit of childhood with the consoles of the late 90’s and early 2000’s where many games took this focus but the arrival of online connectivity changed expectations – local co-op quickly turned into online multiplayer and games that may have had some multiplayer features at home instead became largely single player experiences if single player were even an option as always-online DRM also became a normal, so much so that offline play isn’t all that common to see today. 

It Takes Two
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Recent years have seen a changing trend return however, and future tech options in gaming may look to move backwards somewhat – a bit of a pushback against online multiplayer and the always online DRM is starting to be seen as players look for this local connection once again and couch co-op titles have had some exciting releases. Games like Cup Head brought the more hardcore side of this out, whilst considered to be quite a difficult game when playing with friends it was a very different experience, similarly titles like Overcooked which brought up to four players together reminded some of a time where consoles like the GameCube and N64 were popular. This rediscovery of how fun party and local co-op games were also led to the release and following success of the 2021 Game of the Year, It Takes Two – beating out some huge online games that also released in 2021. 

Whilst current global events have allowed for a bigger focus on this space with individuals spending more time at home and with family who will enjoy the possibilities of local play more often, it has been something a long time coming with frustrations for always online requirements boiling over the past few years and a desire to have more exciting at home options. Whether or not it’s the full resurgence or just a passing fad, having some offline variety definitely provides an experience many older gamers have missed, and brings something to younger gamers who missed out on the early gaming experience.

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