For many, Virtual Reality is the future of technology. For years, the mainstream media and public have been fascinated by Virtual Reality, and thus, VR has spread across sectors. Within the gaming industry, VR has been just as popular. However, it has failed to become mainstream within gaming.
Instead, gamers prefer their home consoles, and less immersive experiences, using keyboards and controllers. There are several reasons why this is. This article will dive into these. It will also highlight whether we should be concerned about VR not yet going mainstream if we see the Metaverse as the future for games.
VR is Expensive
For many, VR is just too expensive to warrant a purchase. Compared to its console brothers and sisters, VR is expensive and usually needs a costly PC to realize its power. The cost of buying both a PC and a VR headset is far too costly for many. The more powerful a VR headset, the more computing power it needs, increasing the set-up cost.
As a result, currently, you need money to own groundbreaking VR headsets in the industry, resulting in only the wealthy experiencing truly immersive VR headsets. I’m not saying that standalone cheaper VR headsets like the Oculus quest 2 are bad VR experiences in their own right. They are not, but they do not reach the immersion level of high-end headsets. In summary, due to the cost of VR headsets, most gamers never fully get to experience what true VR is, which has led to a lack of uptake.
Currently, VR technology is limited. Although high-end headsets on the market offer great experiences, they are costly. The other cheaper headsets are also great but are limited due to their hardware power. Headsets like the Oculus Quest 2, although impressive for the average bystander, fails to hit the mark some of the time due to frame rate issues and latency.
Similarly, other gaming headsets like the PlayStation VR also have performance issues due to the PlayStation 4’s lack of capability. As a result, poor functionality because of limited technology has led to gamers rejecting the VR headsets as fads rather than actual gaming machines. Currently, VR tech is not reliable enough for gamers.
A great piece of gaming hardware has great games and many first- and third-party titles. Although VR is getting better in this regard, with games like SUPERHOT and Beat Sabre being popular, the games are just not there, with most being gimmicky experiences. Currently, VR headsets do not have the range or the quality of fully-fledged gaming titles. As a result, gamers prefer their mainstream home consoles to play the next Call of Duty or FIFA. Consequently, the limited amount of quality games on VR headsets has led gamers to stay away from the headsets and pick up a controller instead.
Is this a concern for the Metaverse?
In the future, if the Metaverse is to become fully realized, it will need to incorporate VR technology in its games. However, a lack of uptake by gamers currently is not a cause for concern. There are several reasons for this. Firstly, games will not be realized in the Metaverse just using VR. As mentioned in a previous article, the Metaverse will realize games through other means such as community-led sandboxes like The Sandbox.
Secondly, the cost of VR headsets will go down as the technology gets better. Due to greater market penetration, VR will only improve its technology, meaning you will get better technology for a lower price. Which, in turn, means more uptake and more games. In short, as VR technology develops, it will settle the market and lead to increased uptake of VR in mainstream gaming. Thus, by default, gaming will have adopted the technology when the technology is ready to build the Metaverse.