Mainstream VR is Still So Far Away

Mainstream VR is Still So Far Away

  • Post author:
  • Post category:Game Design

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.

  • Gaming as we currently know it is not going to be the endpoint or even the midpoint for VR. Neither are movies or videoconferencing. All those will use the technology but the technology requires new forms that have yet to be invented. When creative artists and innovators begin to invent and discover what those forms are, that’s when we’ll see change.

    This isn’t like the invention of the printing press; it’s like the invention of reading. Give it another century. Or two.

  • So far I have not found a use for VR can I play my old games on it NO! Can I play the current games I have on it only P3D and ETS2 and so that makes it worthless why would I buy something that just works ok on two things.

    Yeah VR guys you have to allow me to use it with everything like for instance my monitor otherwise for me it’s just a pointless toy that will probably have a slow lingering death.

  • Games where you use other controllers with far better, especially those where you are seated in-game. I’m thinking games like flying planes or space crafts, dog fighting in space using VR is amazing, if you use a flight stick with it.
    Same goes for racing games, here VR actually gives you a LOT more than you can achieve with conventional monitors, suddenly you can accurately judge the distance to other cars just like you do in real life, you get a much (MUCH!!!!!!) better perception of placement on track, how tight a corner is, is it slightly uphill or downhill, you can quickly glance to the sides to see if someone is trying a pass and you need to leave room for them and so on, so driving in VR using wheel and pedals is far superior to screens even though the resolution sucks massive balls still.

  • Elite:Dangerous is pretty damn awesome with VR.

    Outside of racing and flight sims though, …

  • I think another major limiting factor is that a large percent of people (including myself) get extreme motion sickness (even a normal FPS can make me motion sick, in VR it is much worse).

  • As someone with a vive. I 100% agree that it isn’t a replacement for our current gaming. However, I have really found a whole new itch to scratch with some of the more immersive, room scale titles.