So, you've heard all of the heights regarding virtual reality. You have seen the videos on YouTube, that doesn’t seem to do the headsets justice. as you see people dawn on their VR goggles, you noticed that the expressions on their face rapidly change once the game starts. Watching these videos, you can't help but Wonder if the cost and hassle to get a VR headset is worth it. Will virtual reality last in the next couple of years or is this just the latest trend in a technological bubble?
When the Oculus rift and the HTC Vive hit the market a couple of years ago, the gaming world was stoked at the possibility of everyone being able to strap on a headset and be instantly immersed in a realistic virtual world that responded to the players every move seamlessly. So excited was the potential of VR that Facebook famously spent two billion dollars on acquiring Oculus VR in 2014. Here we are a few years later, and the VR scene is as stagnant as swamp water. Headset manufacturers are slashing their prices in a vain attempt to boost their sales. To date, the graphics have certainly come a long way since the Virtual Boy flopped. Though many folks who have tried one of these newfangled VR-headsets have come away impressed with their experienced, VR has fallen short in areas other than what you see in here once you put on the headset.
One issue killing VR is the high frame rates needed for a smooth VR experience that won't break your immersion or make you sick. This demands fairly high-end computer hardware which when combined with an expensive VR headset is out of reach for many consumers. Even if you find a consumer willing to spend the money on the equipment, most people don’t want to wear a bunch of bulky gadgets on their heads. This plus the tentacle-like cables that plug into your PC or console can be a little overwhelming.
Another issue most people have with the VR setup is the amount of space required to enjoy your games. Most feared equipment needed that you section off a part of your house to play these games. The truth is most people do not have this real-estate to spare. This leads most consumers that bought a VR headset, playing their games while bumping into televisions, doors, love-one, and pet that enter into their sphere of gameplay. For both consumers looking into a VR headset, this is a straight-up non-starter.
Although this issue is quickly being remedied ever since Facebook bought Oculus Rift, one main problem is the lack of developers bringing quality games to the market. Developing VR games is very difficult for your average developer. This takes many different skills sets that most developers don't do well. Evidence of this can be seen looking at the Oculus, the steam at other VR marketplaces. This is almost a double-edged sword since there's not a lot of consumers coming to the market developers are not encouraged to run to this market and develop new games. The result is that you were left with a few grade games but a lot of mediocre ones. VR development is more difficult and expensive than regular game development due to technological challenges.
So, are we saying that VR is dead and should be buried? No, over the past couple of years VR technology has made many strides. The development of VR environments has taken on a life of their own, and the open-source Market has started tinkering in this fear. Companies such as blender and platform such as a frame or beginning to lower the bar for virtual reality game development. Also, Facebook has invested a lot of money and smoothing out the hurdles in this technological ecosystem. As the market pushes two more Wireless VR devices that require less technical overhead, we noticed that the pulse of this industry had been steadily getting stronger.
With all of the challenges that VR has had in the past, this may be the best time to get into the market. Many developers are moving towards building games using top sellers such as Robo recall and others as a template for success. As more developers figure out how to Market to consumers in the space, we should see better games better devices and overall better experience in the VR world.
If you're still interested in purchasing a VR headset, I recommend looking out for the Oculus Quest. This VR headset is scheduled to come out spring of 2019. The third generation of the Oculus platform, the Oculus Quest will be tether-less and offer an open-ended Mobile gaming experience. This is perfect for anyone just coming into the VR world with a decent amount of money to spend on a quality device. Using a catalyst VR headset that does not need to connect to the computer can overcome most of the challenges discussed above. As more people come into this market, we hope to see more games being developed. So far, the slate of games coming to the virtual reality ecosystem for 2019 looks promising. Please check out one of my articles below that goes into the top 20 games expected to make it to the virtual reality World in 2019. What the right headset these immersive environments are sure to blow your mind.