Tis the season where tech manufacturers are doing their damnedest to convince us that we NEED their product. This year, like many before, the toughest tech to sell is looking to be VR.
VR – or Virtual Reality – has captivated the imaginations of science-fiction fans for countless years on end. The idea of donning goggles, gloves, and a haptic feedback suit is understandably captivating. Anything that can add to our sense of immersion within a virtual world is enough to for us to work fervently on to make into a reality.
The only problem is, that reality isn’t here yet.
If you take a look at the variety of VR games that have come to the marketplace, there’s a lot to get excited about. And yet, there’s so much missing.
The price point, first and foremost, is still outside of the reach of many adopters – which has led the adoption rate to be far below than what many have predicted over the last couple of years. Throw in the fact that many VR headsets require an ample amount of space to be set up in one’s living quarters, and the odds begin to stack up quickly against VR.
The medium itself has massively untapped potential – the only problem is that it’s struggling to differentiate itself from the rest of the pack when it should be adopting its position as merely another subset of the digital gaming realm.
As revolutionary as the overall technology seems, we at The Games Edge firmly believe that the height of VR will come not as a fragmented and separate thing apart from the main portion of video games, but rather as a supplemental mode of interaction and perception. It’s a shame that more VR devs don’t feel the same way.
As it stands, there are far too many instances of developers attempting to create interactive experiences that depend solely on the peripherals. That is to say, there are far too many gimmicky mechanics and controls added purely for the fact that, hey, you bought movement-based peripherals, and now you need a reason to use them.
This mentality has led to the production of fast and easy experiences that offer little in the ways of innovation, but rather seem to believe that standing in place and gesticulating toward enemies and objects in virtual space will be enough to captivate the player.
Whether VR succeeds or flounders will largely be dependent on whether or not both the developers and the player base can find that sweet spot in which VR can live comfortably. Should the present course continue, all we’ll witness is the perpetually widening gulf between VR and games established within a traditional peripheral environment.
The future is undoubtedly bright for the gaming world. If there does exist a way to further enhance the immersiveness of our favourite game worlds, then it should be pursued by all means.