informa
/
2 MIN READ
Featured Blog

The Almost Forgotten Promise Of Virtual Reality

There was a time when I was a teenager where 'virtual reality' was the big promise in gaming. The ability to immerse oneself in an artificial environment and interact with others, using a virtual headset. So why aren't we there yet?

The first thought that jumped into my head when Nintendo revealed the DS, a handheld that boasted two full-colour backlit LCDs, was why can't they convert that configuration into a virtual headset? The two screens would be strategically placed in front of each eye, the rest of the hardware and plastic could be reformed into headgear.

This line of thinking was also propelled by the DS's initial pricepoint of $149US. I was always under the impression that the tech for virtual reality would be priced out of reach for many.

The current forecast calls for more motion-based inputs, which are all the rage. There is nothing wrong with that direction-- it is innovative. There is just one design limitation that all the motion sensor inputs must adhere to: the User has to remain fixated on a stationary television image. Gamers may be moving a wand about (Wii), or bounding all over the living room control-free (Natal), but they are still dependant on the game being played out on the TV.  

Considering the quality level of online games, the adoption of online services like XBox Live,  the implementation of motion sensors (Wii, Project Natal), as well as the consumers demonstrating the ability to buy pricey peripherals (Rock Band), and you are nearly out of excuses. So where is virtual reality?

Perhaps it died in its infancy. Most people would point to Nintendo's Virtual Boy as the consumers unwillingness to embrace the technology. A few other companies also attempted the technology with mixed results, again in the 90's.

Over a decade later and the advances of gaming hardware and software, isn't it time to re-evaluate virtual reality as a possible evolution of motion control? Given some thought a few years ago, Modern Warfare 2 might be packaged with a virtual headset instead of night-vision goggles (however the night-vision goggles are very cool, and will likely be purchased by questionable people who don't even own a game system, but I digress).   

The future is very cloudy for VR in general. Is it something you would like to see realized as well?

Latest Jobs

Cryptic Studios

Remote
1.19.23
Senior Producer

Night School Studio

Los Angeles, CA, USA
1.09.23
Level Designer / Scripter, Games Studio

Fast Travel Games

Hybrid (Stockholm, Sweden)
1.09.23
Social Media / Community Manager
More Jobs   

CONNECT WITH US

Explore the
Subscribe to
Follow us

Game Developer Job Board

Game Developer Newsletter

@gamedevdotcom

Explore the

Game Developer Job Board

Browse open positions across the game industry or recruit new talent for your studio

Browse
Subscribe to

Game Developer Newsletter

Get daily Game Developer top stories every morning straight into your inbox

Subscribe
Follow us

@gamedevdotcom

Follow us @gamedevdotcom to stay up-to-date with the latest news & insider information about events & more