Mainstream VR is Still So Far Away
Despite the best efforts of developers and big media companies, VR is still so far out of touch with mainstream gaming.
Despite offering neat ‘enhancements’ to certain aspects of gaming, VR is a limiter, not an expander. By that I mean every time you place the VR headset upon your head and take hold of those controllers you aren’t giving yourself more options, but rather taking them away. You lose the input of a mouse and keyboard, which in many ways gives you more control in a world when VR is limited to the length of their USB tethering overlord.
Movement and interaction, despite being seriously disguised by the ‘reaching out of touching’ phenom, are greatly hindered. Graphical quality and how a game looks are also hindered. Instead of 1080p (or at we at 4k now?) crystal clear gorgeous refresh rates and FPS quality, we’re looking through a mask at a somewhat grainy filter while trying not to strain our necks from the weight of the device. And if you’re among the 6 out of 10 people in the developed world who wear corrective lenses, you’re doubly effed.
The best game we’ve had for VR has been a Star Trek game. Although fun for a sitting simulator, the depth and scope of the game were completely experienced within hours and the longevity waned fast.
That said, the media companies keep trying.
Facebook (or was it Oculus? Zuckerberg?) announced today that Respawn Entertainment( Titanfall dev) is working on an exclusive VR shooter that will launch in 2019. I chuckled. I’m sure thousands will buy it.
Not only is that potentially 2+ years away still, but for a ‘realistic’ shooter to succeed at all on a virtual platform, we’re going to have to see huge improvements to the tech. Sadly, we’re inching closer to the 3D TV and movie theater experience with these VR gimmicks — a novelty, and inferior.
I would rather see other technologies develop that allow us to interact more with our games — a true virtual reality, and not a simulated one. I’m not talking how we SEE things, but how we INTERACT with things — or rather, how they interest with us.
I would rather interface with games the same way (mouse/keyboard/controller) but be able to speak to the game or have characters in the game read my facial expressions measured by a camera than put on a headset and see the world differently. Intelligent NPCs and AI matter more to me than reaching out and pretending to touch something.