Virtual reality gaming is a budding interest in the minds of video game players the world over, but is it the future of video games? The potential for more immersive game play invites many to the idea of a system that takes the next step toward bridging the gap between the player and the game.
There are two visions for the immediate future of virtual reality video games. One is full apparatus that requires the player to perform actions as if they are the character they’re playing, from running, to firing a gun, or throwing a ball. The other is a controller-based model that operates much like modern systems do now with similar control styles. The second possibility seems the most likely reality for the near future. Compared to a virtual reality that attempts to incorporate the full use of the body, the controller based systems would likely add only one or two pieces of equipment more than what players are currently used to. The equipment is cheaper, easier to develop, and compact.
This new frontier in video games has only begun to be explored. It’s hard to guess what the world of video games will look like in five years, and almost impossible to accurately say what the video game industry will look like in twenty years. With the technology currently developed it’s still hard to create a simulation that can replicate real life circumstances with a high level of fidelity, however the technology is relatively new and only beginning to attract the attention of a mass market. Progress is slow but swelling.
Another of the many problems facing the development of virtual reality games is that they often suffer from a limited amount of diverse, immersive, and expansive content, primarily due to the lack of marketability. Without the content we have come to expect from the most successful video game systems, virtual reality gaming may fall flat, though it seems unlikely – the market and the amount of interested players only seem to be growing.
The video game industry has a long way to go before it can create a mass-market virtual reality system that can compete with today’s consoles. It’s first necessary to build a large market for the systems and technology in order to get game makers to invest the time and resources necessary to develop and improve the virtual reality gaming experience. The development of virtual reality games will change the environment of the video game industry forever, but to what degree? Virtual reality’s success or failure hinges on the developers that are responsible for turning this once wild dream into a technological reality, creating new, immersive, and rewarding experiences for video gamers.