The entertainment market continues to go from strength to strength, with classic and traditional staples like the cinema, board games, and cards remaining go-to options alongside incredibly advanced tech-driven choices. With a near-$3 billion market, digital entertainment is only going to get bigger in 2023.

Looking to the year ahead, there are some distinct offerings that look to become more and more popular. Read on to help you separate the best from the rest in 2023.

Free mobile gaming without prompts to buy in

Mobile gaming rose to prominence on the back of the freemium model. Getting some entertainment for free has long been enough for people to overlook a lack of value, ads, or mechanisms designed to make them pay small fees to progress or compete. Luckily, more and more developers with integrity have decided to go against the grain, making fun and completely free games on mobile.

Easily the most famous of these is Crossy Road. A Frogger reincarnate, you go as far as you can without getting hit by cars or falling into rivers, playing as a bunch of different characters that you unlock as you play. If you’re a fan of JRPGs, Doom & Destiny Advanced is certainly worth a look. There’s a free version with minimal ads as well as a relatively cheap premium version that is worth the $4.99 cost and will give you weeks of fun and quests.

For true premium mobile gaming, however, head to the Apple Arcade. It’s a subscription service loaded with excellent games. These include Warped Kart Racers, Sonic Dash+, Pac-Man Party Royale, Jetpack Joyride 2, and Goat Simulator+, among many others. Best of all, you can get the first three months for free with Apple devices, so you can try the pinnacle of mobile gaming for yourself without charge.

Extra plays on a pure classic

It wasn’t too long ago that one of the most popular forms of entertainment on a Friday and Saturday night was going to the hall to play some bingo – in the UK at least. While a form of gambling, bingo’s sense of community, giddy atmosphere, and low cost of entry lent it to a huge audience. It was only the game’s slow digital adoption that saw participation decline at the turn of the millennium. Now, it’s come roaring back, and it’s more accessible than ever before.

All the best bingo websites have welcome offers to help newcomers explore all of their games. After all, most of these platforms offer online bingo rooms as well as slots and sometimes even other casino games. Available to mobile and computer players, the “bet and get” offer has become quite popular, usually giving £50 after £10 have been deposited, as well as a bunch of free spins on a selection of slots.

As it turns out, touch screens are perfect for online bingo. Easily the most relaxed of all online gambling options, you can buy as many tickets as you want, swipe between them as the game plays, and see the numbers dabbed away automatically. After a game, you can wait for the next one in that room or swipe out and jump into the next room starting up.

The full cinema experience from your sofa

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Heralded for many, many years to be life-changing and even business-changing technology, virtual reality hasn’t quite hit the mainstream as many expected it would have by now. This isn’t to say that there aren’t some incredible applications of virtual reality tech already, but as a piece of entertainment equipment, VR headsets haven’t made it to the rank of “popular” just yet.

However, in 2023, the apps and price points look to be aligning to allow VR to become much more common in households. Meta is doubling down on their headset – formerly the Oculus – with the hope that adoption now will eventually get us all to spend more time in Mark Zuckerberg’s dystopian “Metaverse”. Metaverse aside, the Meta Quest 2 is a great bit of kit, both for price and quality.

There are several other options, such as PSVR, Index, HP Reverb G2, and the mighty Pimax 8K X. What’s important, though, is the apps that you get. The glory of VR headsets is the immersion that they grant, making them perfect for anyone who’s ever wanted a private cinema screening. Combine one of these headsets with the apps CINEVR, Plex VR, or Bigscreen VR and you’re in for a very special movie night at home.

Exploring the grand works of overseas creatives

Given the dominance of House of Mouse and the formulaic releases – and content – that dominate at the box office, nobody could be blamed for getting a bit bored of the Hollywood hits. It’s because of this, and with the help of ever-expanding streaming platforms, that people are more willing to explore top-class content that’s not in the English language. Perhaps the biggest winners in this regard have been shows and movies from the Korean Republic.

The Korean Wave or “Hallyu,” which sees the nation’s pop culture become popular globally, is seen as one of the top entertainment trends right now. While Netflix certainly has its share of Korean content, dedicated platforms now exist to cater to all tastes. Sites like OnDemandKorea, Viki, AsianCrush, and Kocowa are all worth exploring.

If you’re looking to make the most of what 2023 in entertainment has to offer, consider exploring the above – especially as some of it can be enjoyed for free!


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