The 2016 gaming world was great for many number of reasons. One of the most promising was the ‘mainstream-isation’ (let’s pretend it’s a word) of virtual reality (VR). With devices like the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and PlayStation VR we were shown a glimpse of what the future of video games may have in store for us but it seems to have plateaued a little since then. Instead of getting games like Battlefield and Call Of Duty we are getting what I like to call novelty games. They are short and simple games like Job Simulator or Eagle Flight which usually try to show off the capabilities of VR rather than innovating with it.
Resident Evil 7
This for me has been the peak thus far with VR games. It is easy to see why horror games are such a perfect fit for the immersion of VR and Resident Evil pulled it off really well. It made people believe that they were actually in that world and the levels of fear it induced were leagues above playing it normally. We should be seeing more of this. More immersion. Instead we get to look forward to titles like Summer Lessons (see below) which is a game where you play as a tutor to a Japanese school girl. I wish I was joking.
It would be perfect if we could just port any first person game into VR but unfortunately it isn’t that simple. Could you imagine what games like Skyrim or GTA V would be like in VR? I’d never leave the house again!
Cost of VR
Even with the more affordable PlayStation VR, a VR headset costs as much as a console. This may be what is putting developers off from making their next big game aimed at the VR market, because it wains in comparison to the PC and console gamer sectors. If there aren’t the players to recoup the cost of developing a game, developers won’t spend a lot of money to make it. Perhaps crowdfunding would be the way to go? With sites like Kickstarter really coming to the forefront in recent years it may become the saving grace for VR but for their to be a crowdfunded project, their must first be a decent idea.
My enthusiasm for VR has started to die down a bit now and I’m beginning to think that maybe it is just a phase that will pass rather than be the future of video games. Maybe the upcoming Farpoint can win some points back or maybe it’s already too late.