It’s pretty much been every 10 year old’s’ dream to one day have virtual reality as a possibility in gaming. It’s littered through popular culture, it’s been attempted before but with the Oculus Rift and Playstation’s Project Morpheus, it finally looks like we will be getting the genuine article within the next year or so. But many are wondering if this will be another one of gaming’s fads or will it become the way we game for the rest of our lives?
There have been attempts to add to the way we play video games before, namely the push of motion controls in the previous generation in particular. Whilst the Wii sold incredibly well it was something that was bought then put away whilst Sony and Microsoft’s attempts seemed to fall flat on their face, despite Microsoft’s inclusion of the new Kinect with the Xbox One.
At the time of development, many thought that it would be the way many consoles would go in the future but that just hasn’t seemed to be the case, Sony’s camera isn’t bundled with the console, Microsoft’s Kinect is used more for its voice functionality and the Wii U has ditched at least part of its motion controller past.
It’s not just how we play that’s been adapted recently, the release of 3D televisions looked like the new way to see video games but again it has yet to catch fire with the wider public. The sets are still expensive but even so, very few developers are willing to add it in as they feel the market isn’t too bothered about having it as a feature. Nintendo tried to create a stir with it in the 3DS but it’s very hit-and-miss, especially with them having to bring out a 2DS and in my experience the preference to keep the 3D off and play it like a regular DS.
So this is where the worry starts to stem from, VR is something many youngsters have idolised and there has been positive impressions of the Oculus Rift’s hardware despite its recent acquisition by Facebook. Many want it to succeed but is there enough support from developers in the technology? Will enough regular gamers get on board to give the right sales figures for companies to stay on board? Will it be too gimmicky or get old too quickly?
The positives to take are that Facebook tend to leave properties they buy to do their own thing, so Oculus still has a positive gaming future but that’s obviously not a certainty. Hope also stems from the newly announced Project Morpheus, Sony’s attempt at VR before anyone else comes in with a viable commercial counterpart and it at least shows the company’s knowledge that people are excited by the idea.
That’s where the idea that this might be different really comes from, it’s something that people have really wanted for a while and if it delivers then it could be a huge hit. There’s still a lot of time before anything comes out in stores, but hopefully anyone coming out with VR headsets wait until it is ready because if they don’t, early disappointment tends to end in disaster.