Why Didn’t Virtual Reality Take Off?

Why Didn’t Virtual Reality Take Off?

We all knew it was coming. Virtual Reality is the next step in gaming: total immersion, total control. But how could so much potential be so unrealized?

You Bought a Console For Your Console

The PlayStation VR headset costs $400, only plays VR-compatible games, and requires its own separate controllers, plugs, and peripherals if you want to use it. Sound familiar?

That’s right, it’s exactly the same as buying a whole new gaming platform. Except, in order to use it, you have to have another gaming platform to use it with. One which also costs $400, only plays its own games, and requires separate controllers to function.

This, naturally, is a bit of a turn-off for people who aren’t ridiculously wealthy. Which sucks, because the concept is fantastic. Rather than just pushing a button to make a virtual doll go through a pre-scripted animation, I can move my own hand around to make that virtual doll do exactly what I want it to. Sword-fighting becomes awesome, and even something as mundane as solving puzzles actually seems kinda interesting.

This is making me want a Zelda  VR game, now.

Virtual Reality Will Need a Dedicated Platform

Obviously, most normal people can’t just drop one thousand dollars on a gaming system, which isn’t even counting the price of a sound system and decent television screen. VR, as it is now, is just far too cost-intensive for the average consumer, especially considering how it can only play games made specifically for it.

You know, kinda like how a Nintendo Switch can only play games made for the Switch, and so on.

Virtual reality can’t survive in the same market as $60 games and $400 consoles by attaching itself to another one of those consoles, not when the total cost is distressingly close to $1,000. It might be able to survive as a separate platform unto itself, becoming just another $400 console competing against the other ones for your hard-earned money. And, really, tell me you wouldn’t consider buying that when it’s the only affordable option for VR.

Sony and PC players can keep the VR they already have, but I’ll gladly take a pure virtual reality console over a double-priced double console.

Virtual Reality is the Future of Gaming

And the future, in this case, isn’t just yet. We’re sitting right on the cusp of something absolutely fascinating. But, before we can do anything with it, it needs to be strong enough to survive on its own.

Speaking ideally, virtual reality will eventually replace the traditional screen, couch, and controller gaming we all know and love. It needs more time to grow and develop, of course, and it isn’t quite the Matrix-tier, full dive immersion of the up-and-coming dystopia prophesied by sci-fi novels the world over, but it’s a darn good start. We’re going somewhere with this, but before it can take us anywhere, it needs to be the one forging on ahead and leading the path.

the-animatrix-scene

We can’t treat VR like it’s just a fancy peripheral; this is an entirely new  way to play games. One that could open up avenues for entirely new types of games that couldn’t exist before, in fact.

Unfortunately, something this big and pricey will need an entire company backing it fully. Sony, Microsoft, and even Nintendo can’t afford to, not when they have their own consoles to worry about. Well, unless Nintendo does something predictably crazy like making their next system a purely VR platform, but Nintendo will do what Nintendo does.


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9 comments on “Why Didn’t Virtual Reality Take Off?”

  1. Avatar EldritchImagination says:

    Without reading the article, I will give my answer

    Because it is:

    1). expensive

    2). can make you sick and is difficult to use unless you have the right space to play in.

    3). was poorly implemented in most cases for cheap gimmicks

    and 4). Not enough was done to make VR worth it for most, either for customers, or game devs.

    Now to read the article.

  2. Avatar EldritchImagination says:

    Okay, now that I’ve read the article. All I have to say is that, to me, we’re just not at the technological point yet where VR can match up with a traditional moniter/TV screen. It needs to be easier to use, more comfortable, more accessible, more convenient, cheaper, and actually have games and virtual reality simulations worth getting the system for.

    I think one big problem is that developers and companies don’t want to invest too much into them. I don’t blame them for that (I know all too well the feeling of hesitation about making such a commitment), but I think if you want to see better results in new tech like VR, you need to put more initial resources into it before it can bare fruit. Companies don’t want to take that risk, or don’t believe they can afford to, so they put little in, and of course, little comes out of it. I’d say if they truly want to make VR a reality now, they got to put more into making Virtual reality a reality, or if not, wait a while longer until technology makes it cheaper and easier. the recent VR attempt has shown VR gaming has taken big leaps from the Virtual boy, so at least it getting somewhere.

  3. Avatar Rakuyo says:

    I believe at the moment VR is just a gimmick trying to cash in on its novelty.

    A genuinely good experience requires both advanced technology and a format that attracts and nourishes artistic talent.

    That and you would need a ton of money to compete with what players are getting elsewhere.

    What the genre needs is a genuinely mind-blowing multiplayer experience, a new WoW / COD4 so to speak.

  4. Avatar Castielle says:

    Having played VR I can honestly say it’s a "mind blowing" experience. However, you cannot play for long periods of time because, as mentioned above, it’s just not comfortable. Add in that there isn’t a very big game selection and that you have to buy the VR for $600 and it just becomes not worth it. As TSMP says we need one unanimous VR console that specializes in just that, that we can all play like Sword Art Online in. Until then, I think the competition is simply dissuading people from buying it (along with the price tag).

    Cas

  5. Avatar EldritchImagination says:

    There is no way in hell I’m playing a VR sword art online.

  6. Avatar Fexelea says:

    Eldrich is scared of it becoming sword art online for real :P

  7. Avatar EldritchImagination says:

    I’VE BEEN IN ENOUGH ALTERNATE STATES OF EXISTENCE TO KNOW WHERE THAT LEADS TO, AND I AM NOT GETTING SUCKERED INTO IT, NO MATTER HOW GOOD A CHANCE I HAVE TO SEE ANIME TITS!

  8. Avatar Fallenangel700 says:

    Basically what I think of it. Especially number 3. 99% of VR "games" I have seen look like trash. Bad gameplay, bad visuals, bad motion detection, tiny amount of content, etc. Even AAA games are effected by this. Take the Skyrim VR trailer from E3, the players hands/weapons were jittering around the entire trailer. Is this really the best that they can do? If so I am thoroughly unimpressed.

    Now, all that said, there is one game that looked good. I forget the name but it was on Steam, and it let you run around as a cyber ninja and turn enemies into giblets with guns and swords in bullet time. It also suffered from a lack a content, but it still looked like fun.

  9. ckmishn says:

    The VR sex toys weren’t good enough to match the VR porn. Also, timing the ending can be an issue with FMV.


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