Is Virtual reality the future of gaming? The evidence seems to point to it, but many experts in the gaming industry remain on the fence. The biggest hurdle has been the cost of the tech. Most players are willing to jump into VR gaming, but they simply can’t afford to splash out hundreds of dollars on tech that may very well become obsolete in a short space of time. Its still all too new. The tech still has huge room for improvement. The games are still in their infancy.
VR Gambling to Lead the Way?
If any industry is likely to truly push VR gaming forward, we’d place money on it being the online gambling industry. Talk of VR slot games has been bandied about by more than one high-end software provider. We’ve even seen examples of VR slot games and VR casino games. Live casino games have proven to be so popular that VR live casino games seem the obvious next step. We imagine that players looking to find the best casino bonuses will happily walk into a full-on VR casino if the offer of a juicy bonus is tempting enough.
A Long Time Coming
Virtual reality (VR) has been on the periphery of gaming for a tiresome length of time. It feels like we are forever waiting for VR to become a real thing. Arguably, there have been significant strides towards a mainstream VR gaming scene – the release of Oculus Quest in 2019 is a prime example of how far VR has come in the last few years. Facebook recently announced that a whopping 60 new VR games were on the horizon, and sales of the Quest 2 indicate that more and more players are actually taking this tech seriously.
A Pandemic Leap Forward
2020 was a huge year for gaming in general. With a pandemic forcing people to stay in their homes, gaming became a welcome escape. The industry raked in approximately $130bn in revenue from sales in both hardware and software in 2020. VR only took 0.4% of that pie, but small though that percentage may be, it is still a significant increase when compared to the last few years. And VR gaming is not only relegated to the realm of Oculus. Steam saw a 2% percent rise in users thanks to VR gaming on PC, and PlayStation are steadily releasing a stream of VR games for their console.
One of the reasons that VR is taking so long to truly conquer the gaming world is lack of investment. The number of users may well have increased during 2020, but the numbers are still far from convincing for most investors to get behind. Games like ‘The Walking Dead: Saints and Sinners’ and ‘Beat Saber’ have certainly given investors pause for thought. And Facebook have massively helped to legitimise VR as a gaming tech. But there needs to be a much bigger injection of cash across the board to incentivise software companies to dedicate their time and energy towards producing more VR games.
All Too Real?
Players still complain of experiencing motion sickness while wearing a VR headset. And though it may sound strange, it would seem that many players are reluctant to immerse themselves into a gaming universe so completely. Experiencing a new world on a screen in front of you is no where near as intimidating as it is to actually step into that world. Especially if that world is a purposefully scary place that has you running from monsters or aliens, or zombies. A VR game can make a player feel very small. The whole point is for these games to make you believe that you are in a new reality- what if that new reality is all too real and too overwhelming?