September 29, 2023

Innovation & Tech Today


Buyer’s guide: The Top 50 Most Innovative Products

How Virtual Reality is Revolutionizing the Gaming Industry

Virtual reality has undoubtedly risen beyond expectations in recent years. While the concept has been a constant in sci-fi and developers have struggled for years with bringing the technology into the real world, it hasn’t been long since they reached a breakthrough that has allowed VR to become available to everyday users.

Gamers, a group that consistently demonstrates an affinity for anything cutting-edge that promises to transform the gaming experience, are more than eager to jump on the virtual reality train and revisit their favorite pastime with the help of a VR headset. Is virtual reality going to be the next big thing in gaming?

VR Gaming Offers an Unprecedented Immersive Experience

The answer, according to many VR enthusiasts, is a resounding yes. There is already an impressive array of titles in virtual reality games 2018. Superhot, the first-person shooter (FPS) that debuted in 2016 and had everyone raving about it thanks to its innovative elements, has just relaunched as Superhot VR, an improved virtual reality version.

Superhot stands out among other FPS games for focusing on precision instead of speed: time only moves when you do, and it stops when you stop. This allows you to choreograph your gunfights meticulously and even catch guns suspended in mid-air.

Star Trek: Bridge Crew is another highly-anticipated title among Trekkies and beyond – arguably the best game for making you honestly feel like a part of The USS Enterprise as you navigate the galaxies with the help of your VR headset. Other titles include a reinvented VR version of the 1980s combat classic Battlezone, a zombie apocalypse game Arizona Sunshine, the self-explanatory title The Climb, and everyone’s favorite building game, Minecraft, in a VR version.

Virtual reality gives gamers what they have long been looking for: an experience more immersive than ever. A significant aspect of the gaming culture is about reinventing yourself and experiencing challenges and situations you would never have the chance to in real life. All that is magnified through the use of VR tech – players truly feel like they are inside the world they are navigating, instead of staring at it through a screen. As companies manage to finetune graphics and biosensing, even more, this coveted feeling will only keep getting better. So Get your PSN Card now and give VR a try. 

And then there is the issue of increased interaction with your surroundings that VR gaming offers: just like in the real world, you have to reach out your hand or move your body for your avatar to respond. No longer do you need a joystick or a controller standing between you and the game. Even though controllers have tried to cut down barriers between what you experience in the game and real life – for example, PlayStation quite early on introduced vibrations to its DualShock controller – it still cannot beat the feeling that you get with VR.

The Amazing Potential of VR eSports

VR is only going upwards as more and more applications spring up across industries, from gaming and entertainment to healthcare and the military. It is estimated that by 2025, the VR market will be valued at roughly $110 billion and approximately 1 in 4 households will own at least one VR headset by 2021, currently priced at over $1000 per average, while 70% of major brands like Microsoft and Google are investing in the technology. With all that momentum, it is evident that VR gaming applications will continue to expand.

Gaming was one of the first sectors that embraced VR, and its audience is mostly to thank for allowing VR developers the necessary breathing space to keep working on VR tech and make it more accessible and affordable for the masses. It is only natural that VR developers will keep trying to tap into the market’s potential.

The latest trend seems to be blending virtual reality and eSports. Oculus recently added four VR games to its annual Connect 5 eSports tournament. In late September, players competed in rounds of Onward, The Unspoken, Echo Arena, and Sprint Vector, all immensely popular titles across the gaming community.

Recently, HTC, which revolutionized the genre by launching its Vive VR headset, has announced that it would support the new VR eSports league pioneered by Virtual Athletics League. The league organizes eSports competitions and tournaments in cities around the globe, starting from a virtual reality arcade in Salt Lake City a couple of years back.

The Virtual Athletics League also claims that the potential of VR eSports significantly surpasses that of regular gaming tournaments, as they noticed more dedication and a higher return rate of players attending VR events compared to regular gaming ones – 50% for VR aficionados in contrast to 20% for other gamers.

With that potential in mind, it is easy to argue that, when it comes to VR gaming, we have seen nothing yet. As technology progresses and more and more players become familiar with the new gear and skills required, we might see the industry skyrocket beyond expectations.

By Alex Moersen

By Alex Moersen

Alex Moersen is an Associate Editor for Innovation & Tech Today, covering pop culture, science and tech, sustainability, and more. Twitter: @yaboii_shanoo

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