Virtual Reality headsets were supposed to be the end of traditional gaming consoles and the way forward for the future of video games, with true immersion in video and sound, gaming reality. That hasn’t quite happened, at least not yet.
So the question is, where is VR going, and is it worth it?
For the hardcore gamers out there, VR headsets aren’t really worth the expense and the same is true for those concerned about privacy. For newbies, however, VR headsets offer a fairly immersive experience and may be worth the cost for some of the unique atmospheres on offer.
Virtual Reality headsets are vying for a future where they own the pinnacle of console gaming experiences. However, the time isn’t ripe yet. In the meantime, the Metaverse is growing and VR headsets are improving in technology as well as becoming untethered, which increases consumer viability.
It is quite possible that it is only a matter of time before the desire to become number one becomes a reality.
Privacy Issues Holding Back Oculus
Privacy issues are a growing concern in an increasingly connected, online world and while VR headsets are certainly popular, there are a few things still holding them back. One of those things is people’s desire to live their lives without being bombarded with privacy issues for the sake of ad revenue.
Facebook owns Oculus, so there’s no getting around the fact that Oculus devices are going to be designed to do everything possible to violate your privacy by using every loophole and cutting every corner. That’s not hyperbole, as it’s already happening.
Since Oculus VR devices are the leading manufacturer of VR headsets right now, their public relations are essentially the public relations for all other VR headsets. Privacy issues are certainly nothing new, but Facebook has an ugly history with the issues and that’s not going to die with the success of Oculus.
Lack of High-Quality, AAA Titles
This is the main thing keeping your hardcore gamers away, not including the poor graphics quality and pervasive control issues (more on that later). The fact is, it is the high-quality, AAA games that draw your dedicated gamers to the console,
Thus far, that is something that VR doesn’t have. Resident Evil 4 is one of the lone exceptions, but a single game does not make it worth buying. Games such as Arizona Sunshine will blow your mind, but it’s too little and not enough.
From consoles to PCs, quality games drive the heart of the console’s popularity. For instance, the PS3 and with Wii U suffered quickly for the lack of a large and robust library at the time of release or soon thereafter.
PC gaming is a behemoth in and of itself, with a massive and wholly dedicated userbase that is growing exponentially, with both AAA and indie games that are high in quality and a blast to play, flooding the market with juicy offerings all of the time.
You can’t compete with that when you have a console that’s passed its first year anniversary, with multiple iterations, and has maybe five games that would peak even a moderate gamer’s interest.
If you’re going to spend over $300, you want to collect a physical or digital library of games. As of right now, no VR platform can offer that level of variety and quality.
There’s not much that can be said about the immersive experience that virtual reality headsets have to offer, because it’s exceptional. The graphics haven’t quite equaled the level of immersion.
If VR could somehow harness the power of AAA titles running on high-performance PCs, the market would blow wide open. However, none of the VR headsets can offer such an experience.
It’s easy to claim that something is immersive and it may tickle your fancy for a day or two. But with graphics are on par with consoles from two generations ago, the “immersion” factor dies a quick death.
VR has come a long way, but tracking issues in-game are still common enough to have a hampering effect on the health of the industry. It’s difficult to set sensors up perfectly and even more irritating that the industry hasn’t advanced technologically to the point where it’s unnecessary.
In small rooms, it’s difficult to grab small items in-game and move them from one place to the other without visual tearing or other graphical breakdowns. That’s something that needs to be cleaned up before VR will gain hardcore, broad support. As it is now, it’s still far too common an issue.
What VR Headsets Have Going for Them
There is a lot of excitement in the industry concerning the Metaverse and immersive, play-to-earn games. Facebook has acknowledged as much, changing its name to Meta to reflect the future dynamics of a potential, Ready Player One type of universe.
VR headsets also offer a lot in terms of immersive entertainment outside of the arena of video games. Imagine sitting on a luxury couch with a huge, theater-like screen in front of you, surrounded by the archaic and red velvet-type atmosphere of ancient amphitheaters and watching your favorite Netflix show.
It’s also experimental. If you enjoy a new experience that might truly be the virtual reality version of the original Atari, leading the way to an explosion in technological improvements and mass consumer adoption, VR headsets may be for you.
There is still a lot that needs to be cleaned up, however, especially if they want to grab the hardcore gamer’s attention. If VR is to truly shine and become “worth it” in the eyes of many, then it needs a massive consumer adoption.
All Things Considered
Virtual Reality headsets may very well be the future of gaming, especially with highly popular crypto-based, Web3 play-to-earn games in a burgeoning Metaverse, whose appeal is ever-expanding. Also, it’s only a matter of time before the things that hold VR back from mass hardcore gamer adoption are overcome. Issues such as graphical inferiority, tracking issues, screen tearing, and only a handful of AAA titles are something that can be overcome.
Let me know in the comments – what do you think about VR headsets and if they are worth getting.