I’m at it again: scouring the internet, looking for people’s opinions on various aspects of VR and gaming in general. This certainly isn’t the first time. It’s become quite an obsession, really. The need to see what people think about virtual reality because general opinion plays a big role in a fledgling idea. And some opinions get more traction than others. Now, there’s been a lot of negativity surrounding VR from the start, but there’s also been a lot of positivity and progress.
When looking at the bigger picture, I think that the prospects for the VR industry as a whole are already looking better in 2017 than it did in 2016. Plus we have a steady stream of content being developed for VR devices. And though the overall quality might not be at the standard we want it to be at right now, it can only get better from here as the technology improves, becomes cheaper and more in demand.
But one persistent impression I’ve been getting since 2015 is that a lot of people (and gamers specifically) don’t like the idea of VR. Or at least certain aspects of it. This general opinion, it seems, has been formed by the high price tag of VR headsets, along with high-up execs think that VR will change the industry – when many believe that won’t be the case. Like this article saying VR will be an enormous flop. And in a way, I do get it – pushing VR as the next big thing can definitely set it up for disappointment. Plus there are certain aspects of VR that isn’t where we want it to be yet. But everyone has an opinion about it. Even this TV journalist, whom I’ve never heard of, but I’m sure he know a lot about the virtual reality industry.
Virtual Reality is its Own Medium
I feel that a big problem comes in when people compare VR content to current PC or console games. Like this one guy who spoke about how strategy, RPG, and many other game genres won’t work in VR. Which is just really short-sighted. The type of content that developers are creating for this platform will be shaped by it. Sure, the games that have come before will have a definite influence on the content that’s being created for this new platform – as we’ve already seen. But we’ve also already seen a lot of new types of content that has honestly made me feel awed at times. We don’t think of mobile and PC games being the same thing. I think the same should be said for VR and other platforms.
Now, another assumption that has unfortunately also been making the rounds is that VR will go the same way as other technologies – like 3D TV’s, Motion Controllers, Google Glass, and Nintendo’s Virtual Boy – that have failed to catch on. Which might very well be the case (even though I doubt it). But to keep hammering on about the failure of a new technology when it’s not even properly out of the gates yet just seems unnecessarily negative. And if it does fail – so you called it. Good for you. The point is that it hasn’t yet. And the industry needs a proper chance to succeed. Which gets me to my next point. And I’ve talked about this before – people who don’t own VR headsets that give VR games negative reviews on stores like Steam.
Just Give VR A Chance To Succeed Or Fail Without Dragging It Down
To be fair, this has been a problem for more than a year and it now seems to be dying down somewhat. But why would you downvote a game and give it a negative review if you haven’t even played it? The only explanation for it would be that you’re being vindictive towards that game studio or the VR platform – and for no reason, I can logically discern. But hopefully, the trolls will get bored with this soon.
So to reiterate what I’ve said earlier – yes virtual reality hardware and content have flaws. And we’ve seen more than enough articles, posts, and discussions about those, which is why I’m not going to list them again here. But I like to see them as growing pains. People are working hard to improve upon the technology and content we’re seeing right now. Plus I know the platform will get a lot more traction once it gets cheaper and once the headsets get more comfortable and lightweight.
Yes, virtual reality might never grow beyond a niche market – but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have a place in the gaming community. For right now, VR arcades are becoming quite popular so maybe that’s the way we’ll go for a while – who knows?