“I don’t want to spend $600 to have a box on my head when I play video games” or “Too many cables, not enough games” are some of the statements you’ll hear quite often if you come across a Virtual Reality non-believer.
Despite all the criticism that the Virtual Reality gaming industry receives, game developers across the world think differently. This year’s Skill Up report highlights what game developers feel about the VR world. A whopping 86% of respondents said ‘Yes, VR is here to stay’.
With issues like heavy hardware, motion sickness, etc, getting fixed as the advancement in the VR technology continues, let’s have a look at other reasons for VR commanding a high level of confidence among game developers.
Why is VR here to stay?
VR hardware manufacturing is rising
The future of Virtual Reality is already set in motion. From Google kickstarting the VR industry by releasing Google Cardboard back in 2014, just look at the number of latest releases in VR headsets in the past six months now and you can do the math yourself.
With the likes of Lenovo Mirage Solo, Oculus Go, HTC Vive Pro, Oculus Rift, Sony PlayStation VR and Samsung Odyssey entering the market, it’s quite evident that there is a growing demand for the VR headsets.
In addition to headsets being produced extensively, there are dedicated chipsets such as the latest Qualcomm’s XR1 chipset being built to support these headsets and solve the ever-concerning problem in the VR world: High prices. HTC (Vive), Vuzix, Meta, and Pico, are among the others that are working towards creating dedicated chipsets for the standalone headsets.
Prices are falling
Virtual Reality manufacturers across the globe have a common goal in mind: to make manufacturing of the VR hardware cheaper. Oculus was the first one to drop the prices of the Oculus Rift permanently to $399. Later, Sony joined in by bringing the price of its PlayStation VR down to as low as $200.
Another common complaint regarding the price of the VR headsets is that all VR headsets required additional computing power and hardware to make them operable making it not an average Jane/Joe’s cup of tea. But that problem seems to be fast disappearing with the release of standalone headsets now. Qualcomm recently announced a new chipset for standalone AR/VR headsets at Augmented World Expo.
More games to hit the market
“There aren’t enough AAA games for the VR world”. Listen closely, and you’ll notice a VR non-believer expressing their disbelief towards the VR world.
But, the Virtual Reality Industry is smart. It keeps coming up with ways to pull even the hardcore console gamers into the enticing VR space. The immersive nature of Virtual Reality provides a potential to build fascinating games that catch people’s interest. Events such as the Annual Game developers conference, VR & AR Developer Conference, and PAX East ignite the interest of developers to create these innovative games even more.
With already popular VR games such as Doom, Fallout, Perception, etc in existence, there are other games on their way to hit the market.
For instance, creators of Titanfall, Respawn Entertainment have announced that a brand new AAA VR title in partnership with Oculus will get released in 2019. Respawn is working hard in this new field and will be challenging other studios in what future gaming for VR looks like.
VR isn’t just limited to headsets
People confuse VR being limited to just headsets and games. But it is so much more than that. There are different fields leveraging the potential of Virtual Reality.
For instance, NASA uses Virtual Reality Lab to train astronauts. NASA is also looking into using headsets like the HTC Vive, VR gloves from 3rd party developers, and assets from games like Mars 2030 and Earthlight to make VR training simulations for a fraction of the cost.
Other industries that can immediately benefit from using Virtual Reality are Healthcare, Education, Museum, Entertainment, among others. For instance, Doctors use VR to treat anxiety disorders and phobias, while some at Stanford University used it to set up practice spaces for surgeons. Testing autonomous vehicles for safety purposes also uses the wonders of Virtual Reality for simulation purposes. It will also help speed up the development of Autonomous Vehicles.
Similarly, in the education space, one can use Virtual Reality in the classroom to visualize certain concepts related to physics for students. People can be transported back to the Bronze Age with the help of VR in Museums. The Entertainment Industry has been making VR movies such as Walking New York, From nothing, Surge, etc, which create an altogether different experience for the viewers by making them feel like they’re actually present in the scenario of the VR world. Imagine watching Jurassic Park or Avatar in VR!
It takes time for any new technology to find user adoption and Virtual Reality has been no exception. But in recent times, it seems to have broken the barriers. One proxy for this claim is the news of VR headsets sale crossing 1 million last year. The ball has started rolling more and more in favor of the VR world. A whole industry is being formed, new technology being made, and VR is no longer just some hype.