ISVRTHEFUTURE OFGAMING?OF

it’s had a strong it open­ing, BUT can shore Up its po­si­tion as the front­line in­no­va­tion?

Games TM - - FUTURE GAMING -

“While VR is an ex­cit­ing plat­form that of­fers the po­ten­tial for more im­mer­sive ex­pe­ri­ences, we’re still some way off it be­ing the rad­i­cal change that many peo­ple have sug­gested it would be over the past cou­ple of years,” says Creative As­sem­bly tech­ni­cal art direc­tor Jodie Azhar, and we have to agree. While we’ve en­joyed a lot of the out­put on PSVR, HTC Vive and Ocu­lus Rift in par­tic­u­lar, noth­ing in the VR space has struck us as truly es­sen­tial just yet. But change could be com­ing.

“I be­lieve im­mer­sive re­al­i­ties gen­er­ally will turn the ex­ist­ing tra­di­tions of in­ter­ac­tive en­ter­tain­ment on its head,” in­sists Terra Vir­tua CEO Gary Bracey. “It might take a year or two, but un­doubt­edly a whole new genre will be cre­ated, of­fer­ing more ac­ces­si­bil­ity to the many who don’t yet play ‘proper’ videogames.”

So what’s been getting in the way of this hap­pen­ing so far? What are the last wrin­kles that need iron­ing out? “There are a few rea­sons for this, such as price point – VR head­sets are still ex­pen­sive for the average con­sumer; health and safety – there’s still a big is­sue with nau­sea and eye strain; dis­com­fort – most head­sets are quite bulky, and peo­ple don’t want to wear them for ex­tended pe­ri­ods of time,” points out Azhar. “I’m ex­cited about the pos­si­bil­i­ties for what VR can of­fer once these is­sues have been tack­led, but un­til we make these break­throughs, I think we’re go­ing to con­tinue see­ing a slow­down in the ap­peal for VR in games in the near fu­ture.”

Bracey thinks that a largely un­tapped as­pect of VR might still pro­vide a break­through, though. “Another rea­son VR has so much po­ten­tial is be­cause it com­bines both tra­di­tional gam­ing and as­pects of so­cial me­dia. Now that VR hard­ware is reach­ing a point where it is no longer so cum­ber­some, play­ers can ex­pe­ri­ence in­cred­i­bly rich dig­i­tal worlds while in­ter­act­ing with peo­ple in their neigh­bour­hood or across the world. The pos­si­bil­i­ties are ex­cit­ing, and only lim­ited by our imag­i­na­tions.”

“ANOTHER REA­SON VR HAS SO MUCH PO­TEN­TIAL IS BE­CAUSE IT COM­BINES BOTH TRA­DI­TIONAL GAM­ING AND AS­PECTS OF SO­CIAL ME­DIA”

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