Published On: Fri, Dec 14th, 2018

What’s Left For Virtual Reality Gaming

It’s commonly accepted that we’re still in the early stages of virtual reality gaming. Despite the medium having been around essentially for three full years now, on the consumer level, it still feels very much like existing VR is part of a first generation of sorts. At the same time however, VR gaming has covered a lot of ground. There are a ton of games and devices available at this point, and some have become quite popular. This begs the question, which we’ll answer to some extent here, of what’s left for virtual reality gaming.


More Affordable Headsets
Earlier this year there was speculation that cheaper headsets are coming in VR, and questions as to whether or not this would kickstart consumer interest. This is somewhat of a misleading idea because consumers are quite interested already. However, it’s fair to say that VR gaming hasn’t quite taken off the way some expected it to, and price could indeed be the reason. Through the beginning of 2018, decent VR headsets were more expensive even than gaming consoles, which made them non-starters for a lot of people. Now we’ve started to see some more affordable options coming out, and this trend should only continue, possibly resulting in a more mainstream VR market.

Defining Franchises
Major gaming franchises have in fact made the transition to virtual reality. From Doom to Fallout, game titles that have been popular for years can now be enjoyed in virtual reality. What we don’t have yet though is an original VR franchise that has come to define the medium, or even a cluster of a few of them. There was an early attempt to turn the cartoonish, vaguely Mario-like game Lucky’s Tale into something like this, and certain games like The Climb have earned enough attention to potentially spawn sequels and a lingering presence. It still feels inevitable though that in time we’ll start to recognize flagship VR franchises.

Casino Infusion
Plenty of people have speculated about virtual reality poker, and in fact there are a few examples of it already, even if they’ve been somewhat underwhelming. What gets less attention though is the fact that more arcade-style and slot machine games could also make their way into VR. The games presented at newer sites in this space tend to be very visually advanced, and sometimes even incorporate story elements, making them interesting options for VR development. One such game – Gonzo’s Quest – already exists in VR, and given the popularity of digital slots, and the expansive base of players, there should be a lot of incentive to make the genre a bigger player in VR.

Iconic Characters
More specifically, the idea of iconic characters in first person – meaning you would play as them – has yet to really take hold in VR, and would seemingly be a gold mine waiting to be tapped. Someone made a mock Super Mario VR game that clearly demonstrates the exciting potential of this idea, even if it wasn’t an official property. Just imagine strapping on a VR headset and embodying Mario or Link, Sonic or Samus, or even an assassin from the Assassin’s Creed franchise, or Lara Croft from Tomb Raider. There would be droves of fans of these franchises suddenly recognizing that hits is everything they ever wanted from a video game

Widespread Arcade Venues
VR arcades, or VRcades as they’re increasingly being called, are already starting to spread around the world. They offer a few advantages, such as the fact that you can play at them without having to buy your own headset, as well as that they can provide some experiences that a regular headset can’t quite match. For instance, a VRcade might have some games hooked up to treadmill-like machines or fake vehicles to enhance various gaming experiences. The concept is already coming to life, but it still feels like an area of potential for VR. It could well be that in another few years just about every mid-sized to large town in the developed world has VR arcade venues.

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