Virtual Reality – Gaming Niche?

Virtual Reality – Gaming Niche?
May 4, 2016, 6:18 PM

Despite the momentum VR has gained over the years, one has to wonder if it will truly see wide scale adoption in the gaming industry. While I am very excited for the future of gaming and VR, it might take quite a bit of time for it to see wide scale adoption. VR has picked up a lot of hype along the way, especially in the recent years, but the question still remains: how many game developers will fully embrace VR?

One has to remember that VR is still quite costly with respect to how much each unit costs as well as the system required to run games with it smoothly. Based on the required specs alone, it appears that current generation consoles lack the necessary ‘horsepower’ to run games on VR. Unless the consoles can get more processing power from additional peripherals or from the ‘cloud’, they might only be able to run the simplest of VR games. For game developers to require VR in their games would mean that they would be alienating a huge portion of the console gamers outright. That’s not even mentioning the portion of the PC gaming community that cant afford the units or the necessary upgrade if their current systems cant support VR.

Another thing to consider is that not all games would benefit a lot from VR. Certain game genres would gain little to no benefit with VR. Unless a huge shift in the gaming industry happens, VR would only make a little impact to the current games. VR for certain genres from MOBAs (or DOTA clones) to third person shooters to the current MMOs and many others would only provide a nice plus but wouldn’t be a game changer.

On the other hand; first person shooters like Titanfall or Battlefield 1, potentially some creative games, horror games, and role-playing games could certainly benefit a lot from VR integration but would only likely be optional. Lastly, the VR headsets or units have their own advantages and disadvantages. Each also trying to establish their own marketplaces. Perhaps we will see something similar to what is still happening with the consoles and console exclusive games.

One might try to argue that a certain headset and its peripherals are better but there may not be many games that support it; perhaps the other competitor will have the best exclusive deals despite not having the best specs in the market. To sum it up - although VR has been picking up more steam over the past few years, it doesn’t look like it will see an immediate wide scale adoption. It may be best to wait and see how things pan out before buying into one of these units. Wide scale adoption will likely happen slowly over time as more and more people buy newer systems that are capable of supporting VR as well as the cost of the VR headsets becoming more affordable in the future.

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