December 11, 2022

Is VR Gaming Still The Next Big Thing?

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Is VR Gaming Still The Next Big Thing?

By Nick | December 11, 2022

As we enter into what is known as The Golden Age of Virtual Reality (or perhaps just The Era of Immersive Games), there are still some questions about whether or not VR gaming will actually take off and become popular. Some believe that this is already happening, while others think that it has too many limitations at present to be considered a true success.

As more and more companies gear up for their entrance onto the virtual reality stage, they seem to be arriving at two different conclusions.

One group believes that it’s totally viable and can succeed in the market, even beyond just games and the other side feels that although technology like this could one-day rival current gaming methods, it’s not quite ready yet.

This seems especially true when talking about expensive headsets that require users to invest in the software or additional peripherals like headphones to use them.

There’s also skepticism around how comfortable these devices can make people feel, especially those prone to headaches and dizzy spells. A recent article discussed some disturbing stories related to nausea suffered by users trying out new headsets, making this new experience feel more like a night out than an immersive gaming experience.

This article will talk about why you may want to give virtual reality a try or a re-try for those that have given up on it, and if so, which types of these experiences are likely to appeal to your personal taste.

Is VR gaming still the Next Big Thing?

Not Yet a Reality

As of this writing, there are only three major companies that seriously promote VR as an interactive medium beyond just entertainment. The most well-known of these brands, for example, are the headsets like Oculus Rift, Playstation VR, and GearVR.

Keep in mind that these pieces of hardware are not games, they’re rather experiences or applications (depending on how you want to describe them) that use virtual reality for immersion.

While these can be entertaining, their main appeal is in creating immersive environments. For example, taking a trip deep into space, viewing the intricacies of the human cell, or exploring underwater worlds, etc.

However, none of these give you full control over what happens while in the experience. You cannot, for example, interact with anything aside from using your hands to manipulate things.

This is where VR gaming comes into play. A VR game gives you complete control over everything happening within the environment. You can walk around, pick up objects, hit buttons, and talk to other characters, all without having to put down the headset or controller.

Overall, since we have access to more powerful technology now than ever before, it is possible to create better-quality VR experiences.

Is VR gaming still the Next Big Thing?

There’s Been a lot of Hype Around VR

As a technology, virtual reality (VR) has experienced its share of popularity explosions, and fads. Just look at the early days of smartphone apps.

Given how quickly initial interest in VR seems to have faded away, it can be difficult to determine if this is truly the next big thing or not. After all, there was a period when people were talking about voice-controlled computers being the future.

But just because something isn’t as popular anymore doesn’t mean that it won’t find new audiences in the future. It may even prove to be an entirely different way to experience entertainment for some people.

While most of people are familiar with the concept of using headsets to interact with computer games, few think of the actual mechanism behind that interaction.

We usually either watch someone else play or use hand controls or both. A more immersive approach to gaming might be what people want now and can experience now instead of later.

Is VR gaming still the Next Big Thing?

Awww, It’s Still a Baby

As we enter another year of virtual reality (VR) being available to purchase, it is important to remember that this technology is still in its infancy.

This means there are no clear standards for what makes a good game in the genre, or how many people will adopt it as their main form of entertainment.

There have been, however, some incredible games released so far, with most incorporating motion controllers such as the Oculus Touch or HTC Vive wands, room-scale tracking systems, or both.

More advanced features like head-mounted displays (HMDs) and eye positioning have also become staples of the genre.

However, despite these technological feats, not everyone feels comfortable using them due to potential health issues related to the long-term use of HMDs. There is also an argument that too much exposure to immersive experiences can result in mental illness, especially for young users.

These reasons alone make “normalizing” VR experiences very important. The media at large doesn’t seem to be emphasizing this health fact enough, though.

Is VR gaming still the Next Big Thing?

We Need More Quality Games

As we discussed earlier, there are several reasons why virtual reality (VR) gaming has not taken off yet. One of the biggest is that there just aren’t enough good VR games. The industry as a whole needs to work together to make sure that this changes soon.

Too many times we have heard about how great an experience Oculus Rift or PlayStation VR is, but then nothing comes out for months afterward.

We need to see new VR titles being made at a steady pace in order to get people excited. People will eventually stop buying VR headsets if they don’t feel like their money is well spent.

There is already a lot of talk surrounding how much money major game developers are making these days, so why can’t we reap some benefits from what they are producing? A small investment into developing your creativity could win you a large income later.

Is VR gaming still the Next Big Thing?

It’s Still Difficult to Get a VR System

As we mentioned earlier, virtual reality (VR) is a growing industry that has exploded in popularity over the past few years. There are many reasons why people enjoy using VR technology for entertainment purposes.

One of the main appeals of VR games is how immersive they are. When you put a game like F1 2022 into your headset, it feels like you are actually in the driver's seat.

Another reason is the sense of presence. This comes from creating an experience where the player feels as if they are really somewhere else.

A third appeal is how interactive the game content is. You are not just watching something happen you can actively participate in the action.

With the right gear, these experiences become even more engaging as are several types of VR headsets available. Some allow for room-scale VR, which means you can walk around the area while experiencing immersion.

Some only offer limited motion capabilities such as head movement. These work better for more stationary activities or video streaming because you don’t have to move too much.

VR is Fun but There are Still Quite a Few Challenges

Virtual reality (VR) gaming is still in its early stages, which makes it difficult to tell if it will be an extended stay or a quick fad. While there have been some significant milestones for the technology, most people agree that we’re at the “peak virtual reality” stage right now.

There are several reasons why this is the case. For one, the cost is a major factor when investing in new tech. A good headset can easily spend upwards of $600-$1000 for the entire set and that probably doesn't include the games.

Another challenge is the limited amount of content available. Sure, you can play certain mobile apps in VR, but nothing is fully-fledged.

People also complain about the lack of tactile experiences; things like holding a gun or sword handle or feeling soft fur. Thankfully, developers are slowly adding VR support to their existing games for free or for a reasonable price.

Yet another reason is the stigma attached to using headsets. Some believe that they are only for geeks with expensive gadgets, while others feel uncomfortable due to the nature of the experience.

Body image, to an extent, also becomes an issue that is also prevalent as users perceive themselves to be too large or too tall when looking at the device.

Is VR gaming still the Next Big Thing?

We Still Need to See How it is with Motion Sickness

As we mentioned earlier, while there have been some major success stories for virtual reality (VR) games, such as The Lab and Skyrim, these games are mostly focused on entertainment. They cost large amounts of money which limits who can enjoy them easily.

There has also been an outcry about motion sickness in VR gaming, something that even most people who try VR will experience at least once.

Some feel so bad they cannot play certain VR games for hours because they get too sick. Others give up completely due to the nauseating feeling which can last for minutes to a few hours.

The thing is though, these feelings from playing VR are slowly going away as hardware and software developers are creating new technologies that trick your body into thinking it is moving, which lessens the sensation that may trigger headaches.

At the very least, this form of technology will help prevent nausea or makes it less uncomfortable. Even if you do get nauseous, you’ll still, hopefully, be able to carry on playing until you feel better.

I believe that this will make VR accessible to more people and even though the price isn't there yet to make it a mass market appeal, it is slowly getting there.

Is VR gaming still the Next Big Thing?

Big Bang Theory

Our final conclusion? VR gaming is still the next big thing. While it may not have taken off as quickly as many initially thought, there’s no doubt that this form of gaming is here to stay.

With new and innovative games being released every day, along with ever-improving technology, VR is only going to become more popular in the years to come.

So what are you waiting for? Jump on the VR bandwagon and see for yourself why this type of gaming is so captivating. Just make sure to have a barf bag or two available. Just in case.

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