Virtual Reality: More Than Video Games
2017 is going to be an exciting year for gaming innovation. Two new consoles will hit the market: Nintendo Switch and Project Scorpio a.k.a. the new Xbox. Meanwhile, we will witness the rise or fall of virtual reality, as well as the potential spread of 4K TVs. All of them are interesting products that can become the new hit or the last failure. Which gaming technology will reign supreme in 2017?
Companies like Sony, Google or Samsung have all entered the market with new VR headsets. These platforms did not debut as good as was expected, but it isn’t completely unexpected for new technology to see a slow introduction; consumers need to adopt them. Virtual reality seems to be following this trend on a global scale, with roughly 12 million units sold.
Regarding video games, it is essential that devices like PlayStation VR, Oculus Rift or HTC Vive get those masterpieces that define their generation, the killer app for virtual reality. However, this has not been the case, as we don’t see much exceptional software on the horizon.
And what about the games that are already available? While some of them are good, like the recently released Resident Evil 7, none has squeezed the true potential of virtual reality. Many of the current VR titles feel like demos–small experiences best used as trials–while others can make a significant group of users feel dizzy and sick. The technology needs more refinement and games that can justify buying a VR headset, which is still considerably expensive for the average consumer.
Finally, it is also key for the future of VR to introduce social experiences, because its fate ultimately lies beyond the video game industry. Virtual reality needs to be adopted by the mainstream user for non game-related purposes to really take off, just like PlayStation 2 was sold as a cheap DVD player. VR is still in its infancy, and will have to improve both its software and hardware to become a great and successful gaming staple.