I remember reading, about a year ago, that 2017 was going to be the year of VR. And, now that 2017 is in its last months, I look back and think; if this was the year of VR, they seem to have left out much in the way of exciting climaxes.
VR has been around for a while now, and although there have certainly been a few interesting little tech demos and one real mainstream game that I’m aware of, Resident Evil 7, VR hasn’t exactly been making major waves in the industry. And, it need not be said, if VR hopes to be around longer than 3D televisions, it should have been pulling out all the stops to get noticed.
Let me be clear that I love VR, and have had some amazing experiences in the VR world, but it’s time to ask the million-dollar question: is VR going to make it, or fade away and become just another short-lived fad like, well, other short lived fads that no one remembers..?
A Hard Sell
VR was always going to be a tough sell. Yes, there is no denying that it is an amazing technology, and everyone who experiences it will swear by its value. But the problem is, at this point, that very few are willing to fork out huge amounts of money for what is currently still nothing more than a fancy gimmick.
As it stands, there are still almost no AAA games that are based specifically around VR. Currently, games that do support it have had compatibility for VR tacked on as an optional extra, as opposed to being a major selling point of the game. In other words, VR is still struggling to be a necessity, as opposed to an expensive strapped on bell, accessible only to rich people.
I, for one, cannot afford an HTC Vive or Oculus Rift. Or, to be more specific, I could afford them if I really wanted, but just haven’t been convinced that the price tag is worth it. For the same amount I could buy a major upgrade for my PC, a full library of new release AAA games, or a lifetime supply of sushi, for that matter. As far as I’m concerned, I’m definitely interested in VR, but can’t imagine who can afford it.
What Will Sell VR?
So I dare say that VR is currently teetering on the tipping point. Something is either going to change, and VR is going to become a great deal more accessible, or it is slowly going to fade away and vanish. But what exactly could make VR suddenly become a must buy video game accessory?
The most obvious thing is that the prices are going to have to come down. And not just come down a few bucks, but also come down one hell of a lot. I would say that if they halved the current price I might be a bit more likely to make a purchase, but even then would have to admit that it would be slightly more expensive than I’m personally comfortable with.
If, however, the prices halved and there were also a few major game releases available, you would then have my attention. I’ve already heard that online casinos are ready to embrace VR technology, and that compatibility with online casino games is in the works. If the majority of online casino games had a VR option, that would certainly make the pricey purchase a great deal more appealing. Would this be enough to make VR essential, however? I’m honestly not sure.
New VR Headsets Incoming
A pretty big twist in the plot is that a new wave are VR headsets are incoming. I would not have thought that the current VR headsets would have been considered explosive successes. Not failures, per se, but not successful enough to inspire other companies to come running to the party with competition. But that is exactly what’s happening.
New headsets, drastically cheaper than the current HTC Vive and Oculus Rift options, are due to hit store shelves soon. I have to say that when I read about this I all but did a little jumping jack of delight. It was a sign that VR was not only here to stay, at least for another year or two, but that I would not be required to stare bankruptcy in the eye in order to join the VR scene.
Microsoft Windows partners Asus, Acer, Lenovo, and Dell make the new headsets, and there are a number of different designs and options to choose from. Although still not exactly cheap, the headsets will be a great deal more affordable than those currently available. Due to start becoming available to the public in mid October, I await with great interest to see how these new headsets shake up the VR world. Bring on the VR casino!