Virtual Reality, or VR for short, is the tech that is currently hot on the lips of everyone in the gaming industry. The new technology offers a dynamic shift in the technology of gaming, by making the experience wholly immersive.
There has been forays into gaming tech that makes use of motion to control the game, such as Nintendo’s Wii, Sony’s Playstation Move, and Microsoft’s Kinect. These were largely seen as releases that were more towards the novelty side of the spectrum and they followed to convert hardcore gamers to see the benefits of motion-based interactive gaming.
However, this is soon to change when the Oculus Rift, the heavy hitter in the VR gaming world, hits shelves in Q1 2016.
This is looking to be a hugely popular release, despite its high price tag, as it has been able to garner a large amount of interest from within the tech community, with developers Oculus being very active in the media promoting the new gadget.
But what could VR be used for?
VR headsets can track the movement of the head, shifting the picture that is displayed within its electronic visor to display an awe inspiring panoramic image.
Netflix have been quick to jump onto the bandwagon, offering VR compatible versions of their popular streaming service, which will place users in a virtual movie theatre as they indulge in the latest releases on the big screen.
The scope for VR to place a gamer in a ‘new’ environment is perhaps the most exciting. Within the gambling world, this could remove the depersonalisation from games such as online roulette, instead placing gamers in a virtual casino, gathered around a virtual roulette table where they can look at and talk to each other in real time. As Poker News has highlighted, VR could also be applied to online poker to bring a new level of realism to the digital incarnation of the game. There are already fully fledged VR casinos out in the wild, but no one has made the jump to offer VR poker – yet. Digital casino games have tended to not be the most cutting edge in terms of technology and can be quite solitary when played, with little interaction between players, but this could all change with VR.
Another game genre that will be looking to make the most of VR technology is the horror and survival genre. There have been some blockbuster horror series that have conquered the consoles, such as Resident Evil, and the possibility of developing this style from the ground up to incorporate VR technology will certainly be one that game developers will be looking to jump on – especially because of the possibilities that VR brings to the table.
Every creak of a floorboard and flicker of a shadow will be able to toy with the player’s senses like never before – building suspense, and offering a fully fledged horror experience for the senses.
The possibilities are vast
There are tonnes of possibilities for VR apps and games – the main issue is that they will need the most popular developers to jump on board and pump the platform full of quality content for people to consume.
At present, it is looking like the buzz around VR is doing its job, with lots of people excited for the tech to take off in full. However, if it is to be the next big thing, it must avoid falling into the ‘novelty trap’ in the same way as its predecessors.
Saying that, VR is by far more flexible and ground breaking than anything that has come before, so its future is looking promising.