Virtual Reality has been around for years in gaming, but only in recent times has it become both effective and accessible for the home entertainment market.
The VR world of the eighties and nineties saw huge headsets used, often in specialist stores, whilst home gamers settled for joysticks and television sets. That’s changed rapidly with the onset of modern technology and as we discussed in our guide to VR in 2019 it has now become almost a staple of some home gaming setups.
One of the main reasons it’s getting more popular is an improvement in the hardware. New and advanced types of PCBs, which are smaller and allow developers to cram in more components, have led to VR headsets becoming more streamline and compact, as well as technically able. That’s helping to make them more popular with consumers across the world and has banished the visions of those ridiculously sized headsets of two decades ago.
The processing capabilities of consoles have also improved, allowing software developers to be more ambitious with the games they produce. And with new technology allowing developers to run wild, what are the aspects holding them back and stopping VR from becoming a peripheral welcomed by some to a key component of any home gaming system?
Mobility and Freedom of Movement
VR does create a need for space. If you’re moving around a room in virtual reality, the chances are you’ll want to turn left and right in your own living room and your natural instinct might be to react when something occurs on screen. This is an ongoing problem for game designers, who realise that to appeal to some players, games that operate in a limited space will be needed.
There’s also a desire to make headsets even more streamline and create additional mobility. Whilst they’re certainly an improvement on the early devices, there is still a drive for smaller, more compact setups for the modern gamer, in much the same way the smartphone market has gone.
5G Speed Internet
Modern-day gamers need a stable internet connection. The most popular titles, the likes of Fortnite, Grand Theft Auto and Call of Duty, all operate on servers across the globe and require a stable internet connection. Some VR apps also require a strong signal and, if it is to shape the future of gaming, at some point the big multiplayer games are going to have VR capability. That means much more powerful internet connections will be required, such as 5G. It is believed that VR will benefit from the stable connections offered by 5G, but the rollout will make it a luxury many won’t enjoy for a while.
Quality games and content will be the hook which captures imaginations, but at present, the challenge is to ensure games and products are out there people want to play. It has been suggested that VR could suffer the same fate as the 3D-TV fad of the early 2000s, lacking in content that is worth trying more than once or twice. Perhaps the arrival of 5G will allow VR to penetrate the popular multiplayer market, which would certainly help drive users to purchase headsets.
These are by no means the only challenges for developers to overcome. Data security and safety is another aspect of VR that is likely to present difficulties for those creating hardware and software, as is simple affordability. As technology improves and production of hardware becomes cheaper and the product more streamline, developers are simply left with the challenge of ensuring it is adaptable and ready for today’s gaming market.