Casual Online Gaming Goes Mainstream

There’s never been a better time to be an online gamer, especially if your platform of choice is a PlayStation 4 or Xbox One console. From highly anticipated game releases to hot expansion packs to major game updates, this spring has been particularly impressive.

For years, the PC reigned supreme for gamers who wanted to face off against real opponents or play in worlds that existed almost entirely on external servers. And for years the mainstream consoles have been clamouring to catch up. Now they’re neck and neck, and that means mainstream games are getting bigger and more dynamic than ever before.

If you were too busy watching college hoops and soaking up March Madness for the past few weeks, here’s what you might have missed.

Tom Clancy’s The Division (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC)

Ubisoft released their long awaited always-online shooter to rave reviews. Once you’re connected to their servers, you’re dropped into a brick-for-brick reconstruction of Midtown Manhattan, struggling to survive in a post-disaster world that seamlessly blends online single player action with online player-versus-player action.

Star Wars Battlefront: The Outer Rim (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC)

If felt like it took forever, but Electronic Arts finally released the first of what will be four expansion packs for Star Wars Battlefront. The Outer Rim sees you knee-deep in blistering blaster fights inside Jabba the Hutt’s cavernous throne room and on the scorching surface of Sullust. It also tosses in new characters, a new mode and new weapons.

Destiny’s “April Update” (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC)

Bungie’s Destiny is the game that keeps growing and evolving over time, something The Division is also aiming for. Today, a major update to The Taken King expansion pack will roll out to all players. It brings a new quest storyline to the game, as well as enhancements to player-versus-player modes.

On the horizon: No Man’s Sky (PlayStation 4)

More and more news has also been seeping out about the PlayStation 4 exclusive No Man’s Sky, which has a release date of June 21. If you’re still not fully amped for this procedurally generated always-online game world (which would take all players more than 4-billion years to explore in full) it’s time to start digging into the early hands-on sneak peeks.

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