Is Virtual Reality Gaming the Future?
My Experience with virtual reality gaming has limited. About two years ago, my beautiful wife, in her infinite generosity, bought me a brand new Playstation VR. I had a great time on Resident Evil 7, although the controls were a bit tricky. I watched some interesting YouTube videos and tried a few smaller games. I then put it back away in its’ box.
Two years later, my experience of virtual reality gaming is still extremely limited to those short few days. My wife and I were looking for items in the house we no longer needed the other day, and the VR headset came to mind. Even now I spent moments deliberating whether to sell it? After all, what if virtual reality gaming becomes big?
There are a lot of things I think need to change for virtual reality gaming to become mainstream in gaming. Below I take a look at some of the few and consider how we might bring VR to the forefront of gaming.
1) EAsier to USE
One of the main barriers to VR gaming is its lack of plugin and play mechanics. The device itself is often cumbersome and restrictive. The sheer number of wires is irritating, and even from an aesthetic perspective, it just doesn’t look cool.
To progress to the next stage. The device needs to be smaller, portable and more comfortable to implement. Removing wires would be a great start, followed by reducing the size of the goggles themselves. Something akin to the size of standard glasses or goggles should be what we are striving if the technology is not quite there yet.
These days it is a chore to start a game on the VR. Firstly you have to attach the numerous wires and connections. Then you have to clear the room, and finally, you then have to find a game you want to play.
2) Better Games
The games available on VR are still in their infancy. The horror genre has taken advantage of the technology on offer in titles such as Resident Evil 7 and Alien Isolation on the Oculus Rift. While other games like Beat Sabre are becoming an industry success, there is a distinct lack of AAA games available in virtual reality gaming. I know some may see this as a huge benefit but not me. For all their flaws, AAA big-budget studios are the driving force of the game industry.
Primarily, while indie games are a more creative influence on the genre as a whole, they do not elicit the same amount of change in technology and platform as the big publishers. If AAA publishers want to do something, they will attempt to push the technology to its’ conceivable limit. When they reach the threshold, the technology evolves, thus forcing the genre forward.
Indie developers are adept at being creative with the technology available and pushing the boundaries in other ways, such as storytelling and ideas. Is this why virtual reality gaming is home to a wealth of variety? Who knows? However, it isn’t evolving as quickly as the likes of PC or console gaming. Industry heavyweights for all their flaws have the muscle to push the platform technologically further.
3) Why do people play games?
I have discussed this before in previous articles about open worlds and overrated game features. Do developers sometimes forget to ask why people spend so much of their time playing video games? This question is particularly pertinent to virtual reality gaming.
Firstly, I will lay down my reasons. I play video games as an escape and to relax. Therefore VR games whereby I must complete real-world tasks or move the world to get the game going are of little interest to me. I wouldn’t say I am the outlier in this, and I imagine many of my fellow gamers feel the same.
The few times I have remembered I have my VR headset, the last thing I want to do it set it up and do things that I can do in the real world. Cooking, cleaning and even holding someone’s drink are all examples of games found in VR. After the brief novelty wears off, you will go back to your games. You can play with minimal fuss and maximum enjoyment on the likes of PS4, Xbox, Switch and PC.
Unfortunately, virtual reality gaming is not quite there yet. However, it is not to say that it will not be there in the next few years. When I think of VR gaming, I think back to a scene in the film “The Island” with Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson, (Great movie by the way). Check it out: