A wise man once said ‘nothing ever doesn’t change, but nothing changes much’.
In the endless cycle of pop culture a ‘new’ technology is emerging in gaming; VR headsets. VR or virtual reality consist of screens a player wears over their eyes to provide a more immersive experience. It is designed to make a player feel a part of the game, able to look around at the environment before them.
Companies like Samsung, HTC and Sony have invested a lot in virtual reality, expecting a boom in the market. The hardware has experienced relative success but it sure to be a short-lived thrill, see below 5 examples why VR technology will prove nothing more than a flop.
We’ve Been Here Before
As anyone who has experienced the cinematic ‘masterpiece’ Lawnmower Man will tell you, VR is not a new technology. The idea has been trialled many times before, most notably in the 90’s and has never managed to stick.
This wouldn’t be the first time tech giants have incorrectly got behind a VR or eyewear technology. ‘Let me just check that on my Google Glass’ – said nobody ever. Ultimately, the negatives outweigh the positives and advancing technology will not always find a solution to a bad idea.
Additional Cost of VR Hardware
If video game history has taught us anything, it’s that any game requiring hundreds of pounds of additional hardware is unpopular. You’ve already shelled out £200 – £300 on your favorite console, you expect it to be ready to play your £60 game.
Playstation VR headsets sell for an additional £349 and that is on the cheaper end of the market. You could go out and buy a new Nintendo Switch for less and have a far superior gameplay experience on the new handheld system. We’ll take a brand-new console over a peripheral any day.
— GAME Rochdale (@GAMERochdale) October 21, 2017
The perfect example of better technology not always providing a better experience here. Developers are still having an issue with players experiencing nausea whilst playing any games that involve movement.
The human eyes and brain are not adept to seeing motion without experiencing it. Much like how travel sickness occurs when the body can feel motion but not see it, VR has the opposite effect. That’s a simple human condition that no amount of graphical improvement can remedy. Nobody wants to play a game that makes them sick, so all titles have to be scrolled down to predominantly stationary experiences.
The Games are Very Basic
As such, that provides the next problem on our list, it means VR titles need to be very basic. Key titles are mainly environmental simulators that offer little to no actual gameplay features. Aside from those viewing options, players can access games that only allow very limited movements.
Titles such job simulator, offer players a VR experience of sitting and working in a cubicle. Not the most inspired narrative but games like this are near the pinnacle of what can be achieved with VR.
— Owlchemy Labs (@OwlchemyLabs) October 23, 2017
Not ‘Kinecting’ With The Audience
Remember when people were excited for motion controls? The Nintendo Wii and Playstation Move were once at the cutting edge of video game technology. Xbox improved on this concept further with the Kinect, a camera which detected your movement. The latest Xbox One finally appears to abandoned motion control technology and even pioneers Nintendo are beginning to move away. Third party developers were sadly not up to the challenge; producing a long list of buggy or boring titles.
Steel Battalion once seemed like a ground breaking game until it was released and it didn’t work. The controls were unresponsive, making the game unplayable and probably one of the worst in video game history. That was from industry juggernaut Capcom, so expect plenty of third party VR titles with plenty of issues.