With the E3 gaming expo in the US on everybody’s minds within the gaming industry, now is a good time to think about just how much gaming has moved on in the past 12 months.
Last year, everyone was abuzz about Pokémon Go, and the augmented reality phenomenon. While that game is still somewhat popular, it didn’t spark the huge revolution in augmented reality that many people predicted it would, and actually played out more like an internet fad. While AR can definitely be used for lots of great practical applications and is certain to be a more widely adopted technology in future, in gaming, it seems like it was virtual rather than augmented reality that was the real top story in gaming for 2016.
VR came on the scene at a mainstream level last year, and in the time since then more and more games have become available, and more players seem to be making their first forays into VR gaming. Certainly, a lot of the most anticipated games at E3 are in the VR sphere. However, the market growth has not perhaps been as fast as some game journalists predicted when devices like the Occulus Rift first became available. So, what are the reasons why some gamers haven’t got on board with VR gaming yet, and what are they waiting for?
Waiting for the Cost to Come Down
As with any new technology, particularly technology aimed at the leisure market, people may be having trouble justifying the cost of VR devices to themselves at this time. We all know from the console market that the prices for gaming hardware come down quite dramatically over time, and so for those who didn’t want to splash out on being an early adopter, it may well pay to hold out a little longer and wait for their desired VR device to get cheaper. Equally, the second hand market for used VR devices will grow as more products are released, and so people who want to snap up VR at a bargain price may be waiting until eBay and second hand electronics stores become full of these things.
While waiting for the prices to fall can be a good strategy or a necessity if you are on a budget, it is worth bearing in mind that VR technology is moving forward quite fast, and so waiting for cheaper or used options will mean you won’t necessarily be able to run the latest and best games or get the best experience.
Waiting for More Games or Certain Titles
Some people love the idea of getting into VR gaming, however are waiting for there to be a particular game they specifically want to play to be released, or a wider choice of titles in general. New VR titles are released all the time, however as with other new advances in gaming like the Nintendo Wii or the Xbox Kinect, some people would rather wait for a game they really want before investing in the device rather than just playing the handful of titles that were available at the start.
Some of the most anticipated VR titles will be showcased at E3, including potential Fallout and Elder Scrolls games by Bethesda. These are huge franchises in gaming that a lot of people have been crying out for ever since VR technology became available for mainstream gaming, and could well be what tempts some gamers, who have been holding out, into finally taking the plunge and splashing out on a VR system.
For more casual players who like to play a lot of different, smaller titles rather than one big epic game at a time, there should also be plenty of interesting new VR fare on show at E3. And, the increasing diversity of games could help some of these players make up their minds that the time is right to jump into the VR gaming sphere.
Waiting for Friends to Get On Board
A third reason why you might not yet have tried VR gaming is if you are generally a multiplayer gamer, and you are waiting for more of your friends to get VR so they can join you in playing new VR games. However, there are some interesting titles, including a new game called Bloody Zombies that will be shown at E3 which allow both VR players and screen based players to play together at the same time. This type of game will make it possible to play alongside your friends, even if they don’t have VR technology in their own gaming set-up yet. You would even be able to play online from different set-ups in your own home using a good wifi range extender if you want to play with your family together but only have one VR headset.
Games that make it possible for gamers using different equipment to seamlessly participate in online multiplayer games could well be an important part of what makes some new players adopt VR – allowing them to enjoy the VR experience while still being able to play with whoever they like.
As you can see, there are lots of reasons why some people who really would like to get into VR games haven’t yet started regularly playing them, or may not even have tried a VR headset yet. Of course, these are all reasons that revolve around waiting for something – whether it is better access to budget friendly VR options, a wider choice of games, that certain must-have title, or for people to play with. Over time we should see these obstacles go away for the majority of players, and the market for VR games should grow hugely. The upcoming releases of the next generations of gaming consoles may also be a factor that significantly speeds up the uptake of VR gaming.
Have you joined the VR game revolution yet, or are you waiting for something? Let us know how you feel about starting up with VR gaming in the comments!