Virtual reality is changing the gaming industry in many ways, least of which by placing consumers directly into a virtual experience. While the technology’s “coolness factor” is a major selling point, VR is still in its infancy, and consumer adoption has been slow.
“All eyes are on the upcoming Spielberg movie Ready Player One as a potential moment when VR enters mainstream interest,” Debby Ruth, Magid’s senior vice president of global media and entertainment told AListDaily. “[Not only do they need to go] beyond the evolution of the holy marketing trinity of lower prices, more and must-see content and lowering friction of the technology itself—smaller HMDs, easier content discovery and access, they also need to break through to consumers’ awareness.”
Stepping into an artificial world offers both advantages and challenges for consumers and developers alike. Advantages include total immersion for the user and interactivity within environments limited only by the developer’s imagination. Revisiting familiar video game worlds in VR extends the life cycle of franchises. Minecraft VR, for example, has become the second most popular VR app in the US, according to Magid.
While pop culture loves to depict VR and all of its possibilities, the technology isn’t perfect.
Nausea and double vision are still a problem for many—so many, in fact, that scientists have dubbed the phenomenon “VR sickness.”
Finding a cure for the ailment may actually be advancing the technology, with researchers finding new ways to replicate the way eyes see and focus on objects in real life.
Superdata forecasts a total market for virtual, augmented and mixed reality gaming to reach $8.8 billion globally.